"Nomophobia" is the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. The psychological term abbreviates "no-mobile-phone phobia." "Cell Phone Loss Anxiety" is a related term for those who lose their mobile devices. Such diagnoses are more needed today than ever. According to a Psychology Today report, when asked how they felt after misplacing their cell phone, 73 percent said they panicked, 14 percent became desperate, and seven percent became physically sick.
The founder of an online dating site observed, "People in the 21st century are alone. We have so many new ways of communicating, yet we are so alone." One expert notes: "It's a great psychological truth that if we don't teach our children how to be alone, they will always be lonely."
How would Jesus have handled a cell phone?
We find a clue in Mark 1:35. After large crowds gathered to meet our Lord, did he begin the day turning listeners into followers? Networking with his leadership team? Forging strategies for continued growth? None of the above: "Rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed." He knew that we must be much with God before we can be much for him. (Click to tweet)
In Genesis 46 we read, "Israel took his journey with all he had and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night" (vs. 1-2). Israel (Jacob) learned that sacrifice precedes revelation. I must get alone with God in worship and submission before I can hear his Spirit's voice clearly. Solitude does not earn revelation—it positions us to receive what our Father wants to tell us. (Click to tweet)
Lent begins today. This is a season for contemplation, reflection, and solitude. (Click to tweet) My Lenten guide for 2015, Transformed: How Stories of the Cross Are Changing the World, is intended to help. (To read the free download, click here.) Whether you use Transformed or other resources, I encourage you to make a strategy for deepening your walk with Jesus across these sacred weeks.
Meister Eckhart (1260-1327) was a German philosopher and theologian. In a sermon on sanctification, he notes: "Everything settles in its own appropriate place; now God's proper place is that of oneness and holiness; these come from sanctification; therefore God must of necessity give himself to a sanctified heart." I want to have such a heart.
Eckhart also observed, "To be full of things is to be empty of God. To be empty of things is to be full of God." Which is more true of you? And he promised, "What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action."
When last did you plant in such soil?
Publication date: February 18, 2015
For more from the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
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