When I go to bed at night, I usually put my phone and tablet on their chargers across the room, and I do that for a reason. When I wake up in the middle of the night and can't sleep, or wake up in the early morning and have some time to spend with the Lord, I don't want to be tempted to go online, so the only thing I have by my bed is my Kindle Paperwhite, which doesn't have the internet but has the Bible and my devotional books on it. I also want to be able to pray when I can't sleep or when I'm starting my day.
Last night for some reason I left my tablet next to my bed, so sure enough when I woke up this morning--without even thinking about it--I grabbed it and looked at the news and Facebook. Now let me say right now that I do think it's possible to honor God and even pray to him while looking at the news or Facebook, and the one article I read was actually about a spiritual issue. But then thankfully my attention was drawn away from the tablet by a big fat robin with a bright orange breast alighting on a branch just outside my window. The sunrise was making the bird's color even more brilliant, and I found myself praising the Lord for his creation.
I shut off the tablet and put it down on the floor and just lay watching the robin and the light from the sunrise, thinking about how great God is and asking him to do some things for me and my family that only a great God could do. And I was noticing that though I can praise and pray to God while I'm on my devices, it's a lot easier to do it when I'm not on them and I'm looking at what God has made. I even thanked God for the dog sleeping on my couch under the window, because he's cute and nice and basically well-behaved, except for when there's an opportunity to get food from the trash can or the table. :) I'm also more thankful for Toby lately because we recently had to put down our other dog Angie, because she was 16 years old and suffering from dementia and various other ailments.
Though they can be deeply misguided in many ways, there's something to the common sayings like "I was communing with nature" or "I never feel closer to God then when I'm out in his creation." I think we would all do well to plan times where there are no electronic devices of any kind on hand, when we can enjoy what God has made directly and praise him as we do. We probably will also talk to him a lot more at those times, sharing our struggles and requests with him, when we don't have social media and other man-made inventions vying for our attention.
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