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The goggle boxFebruary 8, 2017

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I’ve noticed a pattern, it’s a sad one and one I’d vowed I’d never fall prey to, but alas I have a kid that totally over-consumes on screen time. In some senses it’s not really surprising. We have more screens per room in this place than we had in the whole house during my childhood. I’ve got the 2 year old who can exit a kids app and happily navigate youtube alone if unchecked. It’s something we are clamping down on.

I’ve always been terrible with screens myself, I feel them suck me in like a huge vortex and all other activity fades. I apparently goggle quite badly and can’t multitask while they are blaring, even silent screens will result in lost conversations. I’m not sure why they are quite so potent to me but it’s not surprising that Adam seems to suffer similarly.

Screens are like the prayer life I’d love to have. That all adsorbing focus, irrespective of time or distraction. It’s been too long since I got ‘lost’ in prayer. I found myself time wasting the other day as I waited for sleep to claim the little man on the other side of the room. I read correspondence, saw the headlines and peered down the rabbit hole of social media until I found my eyes close from frustration and the thought of prayer came. The shame came too, for prayer shouldn’t be a last response for the bored, the forgotten task you left unchecked on your list.

There have been times in the past when prayer was a delight, a refuge and a divine embrace when life seemed too huge. But not lately. Recently my prayer life has been like a long distance phone call, a mix of highlights and pleads, frustrations and forgotten thanks. And really that’s not all bad, sometimes we don’t need a God who is our BFF, prep talk, and crutch. Sometimes. Other times we need to feel that almost tangible hug, that connection you only get after you’ve got past all the small talk, past all the niggles and fleeting affairs, onto the deep stuff. While my prayer life of late has not been absent, it’s not been celebrated or treasured either.

One way I’m combating this is to restart my love affair with the pray as you go daily recordings. I discovered these when I first came to Serbia and they have been ebbing and flowing since, arriving gently and slipping off silently when other activities drown them out. I’ve also discovered that I’m best praying for others, praying over situations conveyed through the webs of murmur and sighs of help. While it’s great to finally be the friend who genuinely prays when she exclaims she will, it’s also not so healthy for my own relationship with the divine to be always turning up with an outside agenda. So I’m going to start writing to God again, pick up my pen and scribble lines, correspondence that is never as one way as it first appears. Hopefully I’ll fill you in on the journey.

Photo Source : Unsplash – Pawel Kadysz

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