iPhone. iPad. iTouch.

i’m a fan. i’m addicted.

Recently I was struck by the fact that the lower case “i” in these devices has less to do with the personal pronoun and more to do with the body part, “eye”.

I can’t keep my eyes off my phone. It’s typically either in my hand, next to me, in my purse, by my bed…no more than 5 feet away at any time.

If I realize that it’s not in my immediate vicinity a small amount of anxiety begins to build in the pit of my stomach. Where did I leave it? On the table at the restaurant? On the kitchen counter? On the rear bumper of my car? (yes, all 3 of those have happened!).

I even hate to admit that I look forward to red lights because they provide an opportunity to check my iPhone…it’s a sickness. I know. {How long was I just looking at my phone before I heard my son pleading for me to look at his latest Lego creation?}

My eyes are constantly directed toward my iPhone.

What draws me in? What seduces me? What is that driving feeling that I must check email, then Facebook, then Twitter, then Google Reader, then my blog stats, then back to email again?

This past Sunday it all came together.

One of our outreach ministers, Brian Newby, spoke on the passage from 2 Kings 6. The servant of Elisha is terrified when he awakens to discover their town is surrounded by the king of Aram’s army. However, Elisha has full confidence that God will protect him from the king’s army. He tells the servant, “Do not be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” (2 Kings 6:16). Elisha prayed that the Lord would open the servant’s eyes so he could see the Lord’s army of horses and chariots of fire that surrounded the king’s army.

What you see affects how you act.

Elisha was calm and confident because his eyes where fixed on the Lord’s army. The servant was terrified because he could only see the enemy.  Elisha’s eyes were focused on God.

“Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8

photo credit: daniel valle

Where are my eyes directed? On my indirect idol…the iPhone. My real idol is the significance, success, connection, relationship I am seeking. Anything that my energy, time & resources are directed toward that is NOT God, is my idol.

Now that I’m aware of my addiction. My idol.  What do I do? What changes can I make? I most likely won’t get rid of my iPhone (although if I leave it on a bumper again it may get rid of me!). I do need to set boundaries. Here are some ideas:

  • Checking it no more than 1x per hour
  • Spending less than 5 minutes at a time checking my phone
  • Keeping my phone in my purse while driving…and my purse out of reach
  • Once a week take a media sabbath (24 hours of ceasing).
  • During my quiet time in the morning keep the phone in another room

Some of you may completely identify with my struggle. Others of you may think I am completely psycho to be this addicted to a device. If you think I’m psycho, perhaps evaluate your own life. Where are your eyes directed?

  • Are your eyes directed toward God or the approval of others?
  • Are your eyes directed toward God or self-pity?
  • Are your eyes directed toward God or your kids?
  • Are your eyes directed toward God or your job?
  • Are your eyes directed toward God or politics & debating?

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in his wonderful face and the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.”

Linking up with Somegirlswebsite “Thought Provoking Thursdays”