There’s no question most young people are closely connected to their mobile devices. This is true of many adults as well. Sometimes my leg twitches even when my phone is not in my pocket. That’s a sign of addiction.
At Confirmation, we have been thinking about many of the functions of our mobile devices:
- Guidance (Google is smarter than you)
- Music, Art, and Inspirational Messages
- Apps for both Work & Play
- Alternative to Silence or Boredom
These are all good things, within healthy boundaries. But, there is a particular danger here as people of faith. There are many parallels between our mobile devices and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. For example, God the Holy Spirit…
- Connects us to God and one another
- Communicates God’s gifts into our lives and prays for us in time of need
- is God’s presence within and among us
- Guides us into faith and knowledge of God and discernment for the future
- Inspires worship, prayer and mutual encouragement
- Gifts us for service and renews us in recreation and rest
- Comforts and fills us with peace in the quiet moments
Can you sense the particular danger? If our mobile devices fulfill many of our emotional needs for presence, guidance, and connection, what about the deeper spiritual needs only the Holy Spirit can provide? If we are never alone; never quiet? If we draw more inspiration from Facebook than the Holy Book; more guidance from Pinterest than Proverbs; more connection from social media than the Sacraments?
Our Confirmation class read Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well in John 4. The water she draws quenches thirst for a time, but the water Jesus gives is an eternal wellspring sating spiritual thirst. He tells her the time is coming when you need not worship through a “landline” connected to the temple or to the Samaritan holy mountain. True worshippers will worship the Father “in Spirit and truth,” through God the Mobile Divine, the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is roaming and there are no “roaming charges.” God’s mercy and love are free gifts. We need only to unplug often enough and long enough to hear the incoming call.