I’m not sure how many people feel as strongly as i do about cellphones sometimes, although i sense ‘Pearls before Swine’ creator, Stephan Pastis, might have some idea.
People driving while texting or speaking on their phones lately has really caused me an out of proportional rage reaction [or maybe not. maybe exactly the right amount of proportion. but it does tend to be the only time i swear loudly and aggressively, to myself, when i am alone in my car at least] especially cos i am still working on never doing the texting myself.
In movies as well. Man, if you open up your phone and it radiates laser beam light to the heavens while i am watching a film in the cinema, then i don’t have a lot of grace for you. And i had better not be holding something small, inconsequential to me and throwable.
i do enjoy the ability cellphones give us to contact someone in an emergency or to help us with directions or to send a quick message of ‘I’m going to be a little bit lateness’, but i think i would not be too distraught if they were somehow outlawed and we had to go back to only having phones in our homes. Yes, i’m going to be one of those generation of cranky old folks who mutter, ‘When i grew up we didn’t even have cellphones while walking three miles in the snow barefoot to pick up our milk.’ Or something.
However, i also really like the concept of taking something bad [like raiSINs] and finding a way to use it for good [throwing a bag of them in the trash. okay bad example]
HOW DOES ONE REDEEM A CELLPHONE?
i think i have found one way.
One of the biggest failings in many areas of the church has been the lack of older people intentionally mentoring younger people.
This is something that also happens unknowingly in a lot of friendships. Not necessarily doing a bad thing. But missing out on the good thing one might have been able to do.
A few years ago, there was a friend of mine who was struggling with the temptation to cut herself. She shared this with me, that she had not actually done it yet, but that there were various times when the temptation became strong.
We came up with this simple but effective plan. Any time she felt the temptation, she would send me a text message and i would commit to praying for her. What i did on top of that was try to text her back immediately after every time she texted me. So whenever she was tempted she would send me a text. I would pray for her but i would also send her a message of encouragement, a helpful Bible verse, a simple message of ‘I’ve got your back. You have this.’
So simple really. I think that went on for something like 18 months to two years, and as far as i know, she never actually cut herself. Often simply the act of reaching for her phone and sending a message to someone she knew cared for her, was enough.
THIS IS SO RIDICULOUSLY EASY AND CHEAP AND HELPFUL. Why are more people not doing it?
Around the same time, i had another friend who was really struggling with watching porn and so we worked out the same deal. Any time he was tempted, he would send me a text and i would try and reply immediately. Same vibe. And i feel like that might have been during the time when i was struggling with it as well and so it was a mutual thing. At any time either of us were tempted, we could text the other person and know that someone was praying for us and going to love us enough to send us back a text of encouragement, scripture or strength-enducing friendship vibes. That was largely successful as well.
And today I have a similar deal going on with one of my mates. He has been struggling with drinking and asked me to help keep him accountable to the commitment he has made for the following month. So i try and Whatsapp him in the morning and the evening and every night before he goes to bed he sends me a thumbs up to let me know he made it through another day. He actually just texted me now to say that he would have caved [given in] without our simple arrangement.
As it would say in the book of Proverbs, were that book written in these times, ‘As rice to a waterlogged cellphone, is a friendly accountability text to a friend in need.’
Is there someone in your life who could use this service?
Or is there maybe an issue that you are struggling with at the moment, that setting up some kind of accountatextability could be the most helpful thing for? Who is someone you trust who you think would love to be invited into this kind of deal with you?
All you need to do is ask.
Send that text!