Today we are going back a couple clicks on the technology front. I have in my mind the image of a telephone. It is an off white rectangular contraption with a base, receiver, cord (gasp!), number pad and a little plastic covered piece of paper in the upper right-hand corner. The piece of paper is lined and numbered. On each line is my Dad’s distinct handwriting featuring the names of my Grandparents, some close relatives, and a few friends toward the bottom. That list was our speed dial list and I thought it was the absolute coolest way to call people.
We’ve moved forward a few decades since then and speed dial has now been replaced by a “favorites” list and group text functions. While the technology is new, the general concept is not. We still choose who goes on the list and who doesn’t. Who we include is a reflection of the people we want to communicate with early and often. They are the first people we want to call when good things happen and the first people we want to call when the proverbial poo hits the fan. They are the ones we know will answer the phone, respond to the text and give you a “way to go”, sad face emoji or amusing GIF as needed.
However, as technology makes it easier and easier to be connected to others I have noticed that reaching out to my “go to” people has almost become a habit.
And we should always be wary of habits that develop outside of intentional choice.
For example, when I am sad, happy or amused I immediately communicate with my Mom, sisters or Aunt. When my kids do something funny or frustrating, my friends are often first on the list. Spiritual conundrum? Call my Pastor. Something to celebrate or a need for the kids, the house or our schedule? Contact the husband. And, of course, if I have a question about any other random thing I inquire of my other good friend, Google.
You know who I almost never hit up first anymore?
While the truth has been hard to swallow, I realize that I have developed a habit of going the easy and predictable route of communication. The people on the other end of that call or text are tangible and often, readily available. They also provide the instantaneous feedback we have all become so accustomed to.
Hear me clearly, our support systems and savviness for gathering information are not problems per se. We need to have people we will reach out to and who will support us. We absolutely should use the resources at our disposal to gather sound advice and information to help us inform our day to day lives. The problem develops when our communication patterns get out of balance and we forget the One who really holds all the answers.
When we reach for the phone instead of pausing to consult the Lord we are bypassing the One who has all the information we could ever need. When we immediately send a text rather than checking in with Him we miss an important opportunity to, again and again, train our spirit to hear His voice. When we don’t take a second to celebrate with Him, cry out to Him or inquire of His wisdom first we are potentially missing out on a sweet moment where He may show up with something incredible.
We want to be a people who pause and inquire of God before we go to anybody else. This may only be for a moment or we may be led to sit with Him longer. Either way, we will be led by Him first and that is always a good start. I want to be a girl who hits her knees before the send button so that my words reach my Savior before anyone else. God help us all to put You first on our speed dials. Exactly where You belong.
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV)