I recently noticed a habit that I have. I had just finished my grocery shopping and I made my way up to the checkout lane. There were two carts in front of me, and I knew I would have a few minutes of waiting.
I immediately put my hand in my pocket and pulled out my phone. I didn’t even think about, I just mindlessly reached for it.
I didn’t have a pressing email waiting for me. I wasn’t expecting an urgent text message. I simply wanted to flip through various apps and information to see what was going on.
And then I realized something frightening. Whenever I am in “waiting mode,” I reach for my phone.
- When I’m waiting at a long, red traffic light, I reach for my phone.
- When I’m waiting for a friend at a restaurant, I reach for my phone.
- When I’m waiting in a doctor’s office, I reach for my phone.
It’s automatic. My hand simply goes to my phone.
Once I discovered this habit, I quickly made a decision. Instead of fighting my phone addiction, I decided to use it to my advantage.
Every time my fingers touch my phone, it’s a trigger for me to stop. I take a breath, I calm myself and I say an Instant Prayer.
- At the grocery store: “God, I thank you for the food that you give me to eat. Help me to remember those that are hungry and in great need.”
- At the red light: “God, you have blessed me with the ability to move about and see your world. Help me to remember those that have daily struggles.”
- At the doctor’s office: “God, thank you for giving me the gift of life. Help me to live each day to its fullest.”
You get the idea.
An Instant Prayer is a quick acknowledgement of what God has given me in my life. It’s a way to appreciate his love every moment of every day. Even in the grocery checkout lane.
An Instant Prayer is always tied to the environment or the situation at hand. It is quick and direct. It’s heartfelt and powerful.
And sometimes, an Instant Prayer turns into a full blown prayer and I never actually pull my phone from my pocket.
And that’s okay with me.
Dan Herda is an editor of theROCK.