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My Phone at Church

I had good reasons to be texting and checking twitter during church. Howard was out of town and somewhat stressed. I missed him and wanted to be in touch. On that day, it felt like a reasonable compromise to be in church, but reaching out to my husband. The next week I did not have that excuse, yet my phone was in my hand nearly as often. I thought about it and I thought about church as a place of worship. There are many social and habitual aspects to my church attendance, but I felt that my spiritual connection was sometimes neglected. The hours of meetings taught me, triggered new thoughts, fed my inspiration, and provided space to organize my brain. I responded to these as I usually do, by pulling out my phone and putting things on my task list. But the the phone was open, twitter and email were right there. I decided to spend a week phoneless, to try to focus my thoughts not just on seeking inspiration for my daily existence, but to reach for a sense of connection with the Divine. I wanted to spend time with my Father in Heaven without having an agenda of things to discuss.

I did bring my phone with me, but I left it in my purse. If I thought about an item for my to do list, I wrote it in my notebook. I could put it on my calendar after church. It was interesting to see which items ended up in my notebook compared to the ones on my electronic list. I was free to choose priorities for this week without reference to the priorities of weeks past. It let me realize that each week is a thing unto itself and some tasks don’t need to roll over onto the next week. They can be delayed or let go.

Without my phone I was far more aware of how crowded the meetings are and the heat of the room. I am an introvert, some of those phone checks were a way for me to gain a tiny mental break from the stress of being in a room full of people. I can check out and come back. Some weeks having my phone in hand is a means for me to stay in the meeting rather than fleeing from it. That is useful because there are inspirations which come as a direct result of the lessons and which I would miss if I spent the hour out in the hall where there were fewer people. I spent much time in the halls last summer. It fed me peace and solitude, but not learning.

Did I feel more connected to my Father in Heaven? Yes. It is clear that I should continue to make an effort to leave the phone off unless it is necessary. When I asked today what I should be doing for my family this summer, the answer was to rest. Our family has been granted this period of peace, a time for everything to be calm and normal before Kiki heads off to college. So this will not be an ambitious summer for family things. I have many business things to do, but those should not disrupt the general ease for our family. I also departed church with the sense that I’d had a nice visit with my Father in Heaven and that he hopes I’ll come visit again next week and leave my schedule at home.

1 comment to My Phone at Church

  • I use my phone at church for scriptures and manuals. And calendaring things. And checking/updating my to-do list. And texting (not always church related). And occasionally tweeting something cool I learned. It sits in my purse when not in my hand.

    I love your insights. Also, would never have guessed that you’re an introvert! 🙂