I recently purchased a new piece of jewelry. It’s so cool! It wraps around my wrist, looks pretty cute and does the most amazing thing: it tells me what time it is.
And that’s all it tells me.
It doesn’t tell me when someone calls,
that someone needs to see a house,
what the weather is,
or when to head to my next appointment.
It doesn’t tell me anything other than what it was intended to do.
And I hadn’t thought of this until now, but it also only allows me to see what time it is at that very moment.
I can’t use it to find out what happened in the world a few hours ago or yesterday. It doesn’t predict what might happen tonight or tomorrow.
It’s so darn present-tense.
You may think I am crazy, but I bought this watch as a spiritual discipline.
Author and Pastor John Ortberg, who writes extensively about spiritual disciplines for dummies, defines them as activities we are able to do by direct effort or willpower now that allow us to eventually do (bigger) things that we cannot now do by direct effort or willpower.
My paraphrase: “Do what you can until you can do what you can’t.”
So, in this case, I was really struggling with wasting time and mental energy on my phone. It was sucking the life right out of me.
I realized that one of the top reasons I picked up my phone at all was that I needed to check the time. Inevitably, I would not only see what time it was, I would also see alerts about texts, emails, reminders, etc. Then I might decide to just go ahead and see what the weather was going to be the next day or two (as if that is ever accurate!).
Before I knew it, I was scrolling through facebook, answering emails, scheduling appointments and posting a blog.
And all I really needed to know was the time.
So, after talking with a friend about how I was unable to focus or be truly present in the present, I had a revelation:
I would do something right now that would train me to do what I could not now do on my own: I would wear a watch and train myself to avoid picking up my phone to check the time and thus handing over my serenity/purpose to a device.
Ya know, I had to go to several stores because it is tricky to find a watch that only does “watchy” things. But I finally succeeded. And it is working. I am slowly training my brain to focus and live in the now-ness of life. I am also feeling less frazzled because I am not clicking from screen to screen, answering multiple texts/emails or learning more information about life, health, hazards, and the world in general than I will ever need to know.
Maybe I am old fashioned, but I don’t think that is how God intended for us to operate.
I can’t, that’s for dang sure!
I have been considering launching a new movement called: “Watch Me!”, calling people to give this discipline a shot and see if their life feels less chaotic like mine has since I donned this wrist bling.
Today, however, I thought of a better title that fits my purpose a bit better: “Watch YourSelf(ie)”😉
Comment on my Facebook Page today (but don’t get stuck there!) or respond to this blog in the comments to let me know that you want to join me!
Hurry…The clock is ticking!
**My next endeavor is to practice writing appointments on an actual calendar instead of putting them on my phone, because that too sucks me down into the abyss. I tried it for a few days, but it’s clear I am going to have to transition slowly since I forget to go to approx. 3 appointments the first two days!