Imagine waking up to multiple reminders of your sinful nature. That is how my day began.
I have nearly reached my limits with technology. I want to like it, I really do, but it stresses me out mentally, emotionally and spiritually. People expect to have access to communicating with us 24/7. Even worse, they are communicating with us everywhere we go, even our bedrooms. If you spend a couple minutes thinking about it, this type of communication is very creepy. Why should I be able to talk to anyone in the world at any time of the day while I’m in my bed? The only person I want to be talking to at that moment is my fiancé when he calls to say goodnight and we say our prayers together before bed. Other than that, the only time I need to talk to people is in an emergency.
Yet, I keep my phone in my bed as I sleep while it is being charged every night. If a notification comes up, I check it. If the email alarm goes off, I immediately check to see if it is important. It is never important. Sometimes, I am receiving the information I need for the day, but it is not important enough to take away from my peace of mind and the time I am suppose to be away from work, stress, and the busyness of the world. The chaos is constantly going. I’ve tried not responding to people instantly, but it causes me to put off my responses for days and weeks to come. I’ve tried putting it on airplane mode at night, but I still don’t have the discipline to stop playing around or checking my phone “to check the time” or “just in case.”
This morning, before having a chance to do my morning prayers, to text my fiancé to wish him a good morning, before I had even a moment to think of anything else, I checked my phone to look at the time. Three text messages, 35 new emails. I look at the texts, one person is upset with me for not responding back to their texts promptly, another is reminding me about a project I need to work on, and another is noisily inquiring about matters that they are not involved in. The emails remind me of the projects I need to work on, bills I have to pay, tasks I need to complete. All of this before having a chance to pray. All of this before reaching out to my fiancé with love and positivity for the day. All of this before saying “good morning!” to my parents and siblings. All of this before breakfast. It is too much. Way too much.
From my perspective, it seems as though everyone else has got it all together. Everyone else can respond to messages promptly, get everything accomplished without hassle, and can use their cell phones anxiety-free. I tend to compare myself to that perception, thinking of all the ways I fall short. This causes me to grow frustrated because I am not intentionally neglecting phone calls and emails, I just can’t mentally keep up. A cell phone should not cause the amount of anxiety it causes me, but it does cause me stress so the way I handle technology use needs to be different.
Brothers and sisters: Now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, though testified to by the law and the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction; all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God. They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as an expiation, through faith, by his Blood, to prove his righteousness because of the forgiveness of sins previously committed, through the forbearance of God– to prove his righteousness in the present time, that he might be righteous and justify the one who has faith in Jesus.What occasion is there then for boasting? It is ruled out. On what principle, that of works? No, rather on the principle of faith. For we consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law. Does God belong to Jews alone? Does he not belong to Gentiles, too? Yes, also to Gentiles, for God is one and will justify the circumcised on the basis of faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
– Romans 3: 21-30
“For there is no distinction; all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God. They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus…” We are all sinners. No matter how hard we try to avoid sinning, and regardless of our great intentions, well all fall short because we are human. This greatly troubles me at times because I try really hard never to sin. As hard as I try, I fail pretty much all the time. I disappoint people, I let them down, I don’t go above and beyond, I don’t do enough to ensure the people in my life always feel loved and cared for, and the list goes on. The hope in this, though, is that God is totally aware of our flawed human nature. He is so aware of it that He made sure to include it in scripture. Even more importantly, He had such a profound awareness of our flawed human nature and sinfulness that He send His son to die for us. Through His grace, we are free. Through His grace, we don’t have to dwell on all the ways we failed and let people down today. Through His grace, we are alive and we are saved.
So when we wake up and receive negative information, when we are called to awareness of our sinful nature, let us avoid using it as an excuse to dwell in how imperfect we are but to point our eyes to the One who removes our chains and frees us from the baggage we were once bound by. All because He cares and wants us to be His. All because He loves us.