How long has it been since you were without your phone? No, seriously. Are you like me, is your phone typically within reach? And if not, do you always know where it is so you can reply if anyone reaches out?
Do you use excuses? Thinking that the reason you have it near is in case something happens, but really you just end up scrolling through social media or the news?
About a week ago I found myself without my phone. I’d actually forgotten to grab it as I took my dog out on a walk in the neighborhood. It meant there was nothing to entertain me. No audiobook, no music, no messages, and no calling a friend. Nothing. It was just me, my dog, and my thoughts.
There I was walking along and for the first time in a long time, I realized no one could get in touch with me. It was freeing—a breath of fresh air. How odd when we all desire connection, but I realized I’d been connecting more with a screen than the world around me. Then taking it a step further, I realized I had been connecting more with a screen than with the Lord.
See, after a few short moments of walking in silence, my thoughts transitioned to prayer. Not for me, but for friends. I’d just had a conversation with some friends the night before and I found myself praying for these impactful women in my life. If there is one thing I have learned in the last year it is the gift and power of intercessional prayer. It changes and transforms you in ways you cannot comprehend.
And then there were other things I noticed—the sound of my dog’s paws clipping along the road, my own footsteps, the slight patter of the remaining raindrops slipping from branches to the leaf-strewn ground below, and the subtle changes in the wind as it shifted my hair around my face—the breeze refreshing and pleasant.
Pieces of my heart began to praise the Lord for the wonders of His creation. Simply enjoying, simply resting. His creation is all around us all the time and too often I forget to thank Him for it.
On my return trip back to the house, we crested a hill and I happened to spot a leaf directly in my path. It was a perfect little heart—all yellow and golden, a little worn from rainfall, but turned up at the edges as though it was smiling at me. Out of habit, I reached for my pocket to find my phone, only to realize again that I didn’t have it. There would be no picture—no way to share this with image anyone, and for that very reason, I smiled.
That little heart-shaped leaf was just for me.
All too often, I am too worried about taking the picture that I miss the moment. I am too distracted with making sure everything looks and feels right, that the joy of the moment is sucked from the situation. I don’t take the time to be at rest, to be still and simply enjoy.
There at my feet was a reminder to slow down. To breathe. To enjoy. And to simply live in the moment.
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)
No more do I want to live in the hustle. Instead, I want to be like Mary and rest at the Lord’s feet—I want to choose the good portion that won’t be taken away. I want to spend time communing with Him, seeking Him with the expectation that He will answer, even while in a season of waiting.
Because we serve a God who has never once missed the moment. His good portion is ours forever. So put down your phone and spend some time in His presence today. Not for social media, not for deep insight, not for the encouragement of another, not for checking off your prayer time or Bible reading for the day—though those can be good things and used to promote His love—today, simply breathe. Thank Him, praise Him, and sit at His feet.
Don’t miss the moment.