One of my favorite television shows ever is “The West Wing.” In one episode of that series, Admiral Fitzwallace, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, is arguing with Leo McGarry, the President’s Chief of Staff. The argument is over a foreign leader that has planned a terrorist attack against the United States and what they are going to do about it. Fitzwallace tells Leo, “I’ve been a soldier for thirty-eight years, and I’ve found an enemy I can kill.”
Well, I’ve found an enemy that I can kill and I need to kill it. The enemy that I’ve identified is my love for the distraction I find in electronics. It has become an enemy to my soul.
Increasingly, I’ve preferred the satisfaction I’ve perceived in the busyness of typing, swiping, scrolling and posting. It’s cost me my solitude and that has cost me relationship.
Practically, it costs that depth of relationship the comes in the nuance. The opportunities that are available waiting for someone else to arrive. Even discomfort in those times is valuable as the tension requires effort.
Spiritually, it costs the depth of intimacy available with an invisible God waiting on me to draw near. Jesus simply won’t post, text, email or provide any competition to those that do. The choice is mine.
The times that I’ve set aside to meet with Him have all too often been compromised by my inattention and distraction. Lately, I’ve been intentional about changing that. I’ve been intentional about killing my enemy, which is within me.
I’ve started to leave my phone in my office or car when I am at meetings or lunches. I’ve started limiting the times that I’m interested in checking for and responding to emails, phone calls, texts, etc. Most importantly, I’ve started walking past my phone in the morning as I head into my office to spend time seeking the Lord. The return on the investment has been sweet. The life that I am finding in the wake of what I am killing is tangible.
There is discipline in this and there has been temptation. I’ve literally had to pray, “Lord, I want to go type something or check something right now; will You help me?” He has and He will because He is faithful. I’m saying it out loud because I’ve found a treasure that I want to share and also because I know that I am tempted to go back to the distraction. Declaring that helps to defeat that.