As I write we are entering week four of the ‘lockdown’, our churches have adapted and have gone on-line, which is great to see.
However, and this is not a rant, with the vast increases in Zoom, WhatsApp, Facetime, etc, etc, I have found myself becoming somewhat overwhelmed by the sheer volume of messages inviting me to join in to this or that group, tune in to yet another service, “like” yet another page.
My phone is ‘pinging’ constantly!
People who know me the best will know that I’m an avid user of the various Social Media forums, but I’m now having to charge my phone at least twice each day to cope with the volume of on-line traffic; and my weekly ‘screen time’ has shocked me too!
Although I am really encouraged by how everyone is turning to technology to keep in touch and support each other, please don’t be offended if I don’t automatically get involved…please allow me to explain…..
In 1996 when I suffered my mental health breakdown which almost resulted in me taking my own life, one of my ‘symptoms’ was that I developed a ‘Phone Phobia’.
I was acutely embarrassed by this at the time, but every time the phone rang, I would literally run away and hide…. It was very real and quite frightening…
And I was really surprised when I was told that this is quite a common reaction to a depressive illness.
Now, I’m not suggesting for one minute that I’m back in that place as, over the years, I’ve learned how to deal with them when things such as this begin to get on top of me.
But having read over the weekend that there is something like a 46% rise in mental health issues since the outbreak of this awful pandemic, I just wonder if we’re not helping ourselves by adding to things by constantly being glued to our phones and trying to be “all things to all men”.
So, I just wanted to highlight that if you’re becoming a tad overwhelmed too, it’s ok not to join yet another group, or to not tune in to whatever else is making those demands on you for your thumbs up emoji.
What I’m saying is this; it’s ok to be choosey and don’t try and do everything…it’s not healthy.
I’m sure that if you explain why, people will understand…
However, I wouldn’t want to end on a negative tone or discouraging note;
What I am finding really helpful is starting each day with The Lord’s Word. I made the decision at the start of the year to read the whole bible in a year and after spending the last 104 days (at the time of writing) using Nicky Gumbel’s “Bible in a Year”, I’m finding that tuning in to God before anything else is definitely the way forward.
What keeps coming back to me is this phrase, “Are we prioritising our schedules or scheduling our priorities?”
Just a thought…