How to Have a Quiet Soul in a Plugged-In World

How to Have a Quiet Soul in a Plugged-In World

We were sitting across the table from each other, but we may as well have been in two different restaurants. Something had come between us, and I was having a hard time feeling connected to this sweet and cherished friend.

It wasn’t a relationship issue or an offense that kept us from enjoying each other’s company and intimate conversation.

How to Have a Quiet Soul in a Plugged-In WorldThe culprit was her cell phone, and an undeniable restlessness I saw in her that would not allow her to relax and focus on the present.  Her attention was divided between the real world and the virtual one, and the result was a high level of distraction and an unquiet soul that was not fully present in the moment.  I was right there with her, and yet I still felt like I missed her because it just didn’t seem like we were connecting.

Then I thought about how many times each day I reach for my OWN phone.

Do I suffer from the same malady?

I’m so thankful for the technology and the way it has allowed people all over the world to connect. Really, I am. But the vortex of cyberspace can so easily suck us away from real people in real-time, and in that situation, we all lose.

Face to face relationships can be replaced with social media, which is easy to engage in, addictive, and requires nothing of us.  Nothing, that is, except copious amounts of time.  Time, which seems so insignificant in small doses, but which added up at the end of the week, amounts to work not done, games not played, gardens not planted, art not created, etc.

Is it all bad and wrong?  No.

Can it easily get out of control if we are not aware and proactive?  Yes.How To Have a Quiet-Soul in a Plugged-In World

Is there, then,  a way to have a quiet soul in such a plugged-in world without throwing our phones into the toilet?

Do you too struggle at times to find the balance between quietness of soul and the demands of modern, plugged-in life?

If so, brave friend and fellow God-seeker, let’s be willing together to ask ourselves a few diagnostic questions. It may not be easy, but the results will be so worth the temporary discomfort. Ready?

Tip #1 On How To Have a Quiet Soul in a Plugged-In World – Be aware of what’s going on inside you

Sometimes we don’t even recognize that a problem exists!  Asking the right questions can be quite revealing.  Here are five questions I decided to ask myself, even if the asking of them made me cringe.  Especially if the asking made me cringe!

Soul Self-check

5 Hard questions to ask in a social media-dominated culture:
  1. Am I giving the best of my time and energy to virtual relationships/ keeping up my online identity?
  2. Have I chosen to allow the noise and emotional gratification of online connection to fill my head and addict my soul?
  3. Is checking in with social media the last thing I do before going to sleep and the first thing I do upon awakening?
  4. Do I view real life as an interruption of my computer/phone time, or am I fully present in the moments of my day and with the people God has placed in my life?
  5. Do I daily prioritize my time and continual connection with Jesus?

 

How did you do? If your answers revealed that some changes need to be made, you are not alone! Now that we know the truth about how cluttered our souls may be, we can cooperate with God in the gentle restoration He longs to do but putting Him back in first place.

TIP #2 ON HOW TO HAVE A QUIET SOUL IN A PLUGGED-IN WORLD – Replace constant connection with the virtual world with constant connection with the creator of the world

 

This morning in my devotional reading, my eyes lighted upon the ageless words of David in Psalm 62:1, and they deeply resonated in my spirit at the truth I needed today:

“My soul finds rest in God alone…”

Oh, yes…God alone.  The very reading of those words is both an invigorating breath of pure oxygen and an invitation to come deeper.

REST for our cyber-weary souls.

We can sit at the feet of the Master, and our souls can drink deeply of the Living Water only He can give.

How to Have a Quiet Soul in a Plugged-In WorldI must do this, and I must do this daily. I must make the effort to keep everything else at arm’s length – to push it back forcefully and declare, “Not yet! There will be a place for you in my day, but this time is sacred!” To unplug, and to walk in the green pastures and quiet waters He will lead me to.

That is the place of refreshing. The place where my soul can be restored, and I can again have something to give.

What does that look like on a practical level?

It may be different for each of us.  For me, I think it will look like a new level of awareness, guarding my time, and training my thoughts God-ward.

What about you?  What aspect of this plugged-in world tries to rob you of genuine connection and quietness of soul?  How do you combat it?  Leave a comment – I’d love to know.

 

Will you pray with me?

Lord, please forgive me for allowing other things to take Your place of preeminence in my life. I want to have a quiet, uncluttered soul and to live in Your restoring presence daily. Please help me to guard my heart against idolatry, to value the people You have put in my world, and to love and seek You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Help me to achieve balance in a plugged-in world, to use the tools at my disposal, but not allow them to rule over me. You are the only One who is worthy of my devotion and constant attention.

 

Now let’s go about our days, proclaiming the truth of God’s Word, from a place of quietness and richness of soul that will produce abundant fruit for His Kingdom!

With faith, hope, and love,

Published byChristine

Christine is so glad you have joined her on The Beautiful Journey! She is a Bible study writer and teacher living in Texas with her husband, 2 children, and all their pets. Christine believes with all her heart that you can live the full, high-impact, joyful life God designed for you, right now. That beautiful journey begins inside you and doesn’t depend on your circumstances. She would love to have you join her on the journey!

14 Comments

  • Leah Adams (@LeahCAdams)

    April 17, 2017 at 7:21 pm Reply

    Every day I see the same kind of thing you saw in your friend…in my family members, friends, and acquaintances. The virtual world, or even the ability to be constantly connected via texting, is replacing face-to-face and voice-to-voice interactions. I have begun asking people to not bring their devices to my table when a meal is served. Thank you for this piece. I stopped in from CBB and I’m sharing on FB and Twitter, as well as Pinterest.

    • Christine

      April 17, 2017 at 7:30 pm Reply

      Thanks for stopping in, commenting, and sharing the post, Leah! I pray God uses it as a wake-up call to turn our hearts and eyes back to Him! Love,
      Christine

  • Marya

    April 17, 2017 at 6:03 pm Reply

    What a great prayer (and so convicting!) Thanks for this post. It’s the struggle of my life.

    • Christine

      April 17, 2017 at 6:34 pm Reply

      Oh Marya, you are definitely not alone in that struggle! Praying God will so captivate your heart that His beautiful, freeing presence far eclipses the pull of technology! Love,
      Christine

  • Lesley

    April 17, 2017 at 4:31 pm Reply

    This is a great post. There are many advantages to social media but it can also be a huge distraction and it is so important not to let that get in the way of our relationship with God or us finding time to switch off an rest. I only got a smart phone about 7 months ago and I can already see how it has changed my behaviour quite a lot and made it harder to switch off from online interactions. The questions you raise here are really helpful

    • Christine

      April 17, 2017 at 4:57 pm Reply

      Thanks for taking time to comment, Lesley! Technology has changed the lives of many people just since smart phones – you are right. It’s a blessing to hold loosely and wisely, for sure.
      With love,
      Christine

  • Wanda W (@TheWateredSoul)

    April 15, 2017 at 1:48 pm Reply

    Christine these are some excellent questions for each of us to ponder as we go throughout our day.

    • Christine

      April 15, 2017 at 3:29 pm Reply

      Thank you for your comment, Wanda! Blessings!

  • Angela Royse Pelleman

    April 8, 2017 at 2:34 pm Reply

    Wow! This is such a great, convicting; yet hopeful piece of writing, calling God’s children to really look deep within themselves, when it comes to social media usage. I’ve written some posts under a series called Social Media Sadness, Badness, and Madness. This piece would fit in perfectly. I’d be honored if you would allow me to publish it as a guest post at my blog, The Silver Lining, at angelaslittleattic.com. Here is one post in the series to give you an idea: https://angelaslittleattic.com/2017/02/01/10-questions-for-christians-marching-for-causes-series-social-media-sadness-badness-and-madness/.
    I would also share your guest post in my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/angelaslittleattic. You can message me there, or in my personal page if you have any trouble. May God bless you, as you continue to write strong words with yet a tender heart, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 💙

    • Christine

      April 8, 2017 at 4:07 pm Reply

      Thank you so much, Angela, for your sweet words and kind encouragement! Blessings to you as you continue to share God’s truth with your readers!

  • Carmen

    April 7, 2017 at 11:53 pm Reply

    This is soooo good!! I love the questions you asked us to ask ourselves. Number 4 and 5 seriously puts a reality check on myself. Love this post. Going to Pin and tweet it right now.

    • Christine

      April 8, 2017 at 12:17 am Reply

      Thanks, Carmen! I needed those questions too. You are a blessing – thanks for commenting!

  • Bethany Leigh

    April 7, 2017 at 3:37 pm Reply

    I can relate heavily to this – I feel so overwhelmed by my phone/technology lately that I can feel it becoming a burden on my “used to be” quiet, nature loving soul. However, I find it hard to break the “addiction”. I am strong in my faith but if I spent half the time talking to God/praying/reading the Bible as I do scrolling through my phone I’m sure I would feel the burden lifted. I’ve thought of how freeing it would feel to throw my phone out of my moving car…. haha… But never would… I want to start combating it by leaving my phone at home purposely when I leave for work, starting with just 1 or 2 days a week and moving forward from there. I also need some like minded people in my life because all of my friends (and boyfriend) are just as plugged into their phone as I am but they have no willingness to give it up, I at least try to spend days hiking and getting back in touch with nature on the weekends. Thank you for your prayer. It was needed. <3

    • Christine

      April 7, 2017 at 4:08 pm Reply

      Oh Bethany, you are not alone in that struggle! I so appreciate your comment and I have those same desires to throw my phone out the window sometimes. It becomes a bit like the Ring at the end of The Lord of the Rings, where it galled Frodo and he longed to be free of it, yet he couldn’t bear to part with it. May God break in upon each of His entangled children, break unhealthy attachments, and give us a glimpse of His glory that will so captivate our hearts that nothing else will satisfy. Love and blessings,
      Christine

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