What void are you filling?

I had a rare opportunity to go on a date with Lindy over dinner, Ruby free, meaning; no fussing, no wrangling a toddler while trying to eat, no high blood pressure -just calm, time to focus on my 6 year old.

While we were waiting outside to be seated, I checked my phone. I guess looking to see if Dale had called. Lindy wanted to play “hide the princess wand” so I obliged – all the while texting a friend some non-critical information. Checked my phone to see if my friend replied. We were sat for dinner, I checked my phone – maybe Ruby was giving Dale a hard time. Within a simple 25 minutes, I checked my phone 5 times.

ridiculous.

Each time I thought about my phone, pangs of guilt crept up. Why do I need to check my phone right now? Can’t I eat dinner for 45 minutes without checking my phone?!! In the back of my mind, thinking of this exact blog post that I’ve wanted to write for a year. Shaking my head at myself. I’ve even tried to play the game “don’t look at my phone over dinner”.

I am sad to admit my own behavior with technology is no different than the majority in this world; my computer, face.book, my phone, – and I don’t even have a smartphone! I still just have a teenage girl texting phone! (We are cheap)

I am addicted though, needing to get my fix all the time, any time, throughout the day. Ironically, I am spending 2 hours on my computer tonight to write this post.

When I sit down and think about it, what is it that I really need from other people ALL the time? Because, that is what it is….a need to be filled by someone else. Of course, I can suggest that I check face.book ALL THE TIME so that I don’t miss ANY special announcement and so I don’t have to scroll through 25 pages worth of people’s lives to catch up from yesterday.

Because in fact, I’m only checking, texting, (I can’t even say blogging because I’m not consistent enough with it, ha), because I am filling a void in my life – filling a space, a hole. And I’m filling it with -other people.

In our world of chaos and business and tweets and texts, I believe silence is escaping our souls.

It is a stealthy (is that a word? It just doesn’t flow right) idol; we don’t think twice about browsing the internet for hours or checking our messages 10 times a day, but we are filling the void in our souls with constant connection with others.

As I sat at dinner at restaurant with my husband a few weeks ago, I looked around and I did not find more than 2 people who were distraction free, meaning they did not have a phone in hand, on the table, or vibrating in their pockets, or answered it during dinner. Who ARE we that we cannot go to dinner without having our phones on the table in front of us?!

Do you know who visits us in our silence, in the quiet spot of our souls? Our Maker. He meets us in that silence.

Now, I’m not suggesting that God doesn’t speak to us through the fabulous NIV translation on our fancy phones, but I am suggesting that technology has become such an idol in our lives, that we are forcing out the silence in our souls. We are filling it with the need to satisfy something in ourselves via face.book or mommy blogs.

I have searched myself, trying to figure out why I am so drawn to attention from “friends”, why I need to receive an update about everyone in my life constantly. It is filling a void, a craving for a relationship, that hole is one that God should be filling.

We need to INTENTIONALLY find the time to be quiet, to find rest, to meditate, to just be, and listen to God.

There is something to be said of the Amish folks who do not subscribe to email let alone cellphones like the modern world – keeping it very simple. I think we need to be different from the world and that means with our technology. Technology will only get more convoluted and intense unless you set some boundaries.

As I hear more and more about families that are giving cellphones to their 8 year old children, I am absolutely MORTIFIED. I always ask, and why? I always get the same kind of answers, but I question whether in 5 years if we will be in the same boat. I don’t want to be. I remember the days of technology free thinking and daydreaming and wondering and silence. We are raising children that won’t even know what that is!

I have had this theory, probably completely heresy, but it has been in my head for years now. Might I just suggest the Antichrist is actually technology itself. Yes, I know, ridiculous, but worth just a thought. Obviously, the Bible probably couldn’t have come out and said, “The box shaped thingy will bring worlds together”. I am not asking you to say that is true; but I have put some serious thought into the concept. I just I feel that we are letting technology creep into our souls without really understanding the spiritual consequences.

I KNOW that the void I am filling is loneliness. I am lonely all.the.time. And part of it could be that Dale is never home and when he is, well, he doesn’t really have time to emotionally invest right now; part of it is depression that I deal with, and another part is just how hard being a stay at home mom is – it is a lonely job.

I know that being in the word more and communicating with God would actually be a healing salve to my heart and help with the loneliness, all the face.booking is only a temporary high.

I want to stop trying to get this attention from other people, and spend more time getting GOD’S attention and communicating with HIM.

I urge you– stop with the technology addiction already! Get off the computer, the phones, and fill that silence in your soul with God.

The next time you reach for your phone/computer or any other newfangled device that connects you with other people, think twice about it.

Would you say you are addicted?…if so, what void are you filling?



 

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