Today Chandler’s Lent Calendar asked us to “Turn off your cell phone… completely. Discover life.” On paper it seemed tough, but the reality of the task became apparent when I left for the church. Megan was at home with what felt like 27 children and no landline. “Completely” seemed a little too far for her day. But I would have my office phone and could survive.
As I worked on my Mac iMessages popped up (iMessages are shared across devices). At first they were unimportant, but then one required answering and I wondered… I powered up my phone to reveal missed calls, voicemails, texts. I wasn’t discovering life – I was missing it. Turning my cell phone off was a great idea for a retreat, but completely wrong for a day in the office.
Sitting in Starbucks the staff came up with the list for the Lent Calendar. We were sipping coffee and talking about praying for grace and giving a neighbor flowers. Lots of good ideas were flowing, along with some challenges: drink only water. So much brilliance and who wouldn’t want a break from the constant buzz of cellular vibrations?! But real life is more complicated than words on paper. More challenging that conversations over coffee. What seemed good in Starbucks… didn’t work today.
This is true for all of church. We join every week. We read, we sing, we pray. We drink coffee and have conversations. But the grace and truth of Christ doesn’t turn off with the sanctuary lights. So our words need to relate to everyday life. They need to be lived out in normal life. If they are not… rather than discovering Life, we miss it… completely.