During SouthField's Summer on the Soul we've been recommending a different Soul Care Exercise each week. The activities are cumulative, so we keep practicing them as we add new ones.
Week four is relevant to modern life: Screen Control.
Our lives are dominated by screens--
TV's, Computers, Smartphones, Tablets, etc.
Screen can draining the life from our souls. They are influencing our ethics, modifying our morals, distancing us from those closest to us, causing us to choose virtual interactions over face to face conversations and in the darkest moments, leading some to choose internet intimacy over biblical sexual encounters.
We left the application of this one pretty wide open, realizing that everyone interacts with screen differently.
Choose a screen that could have a draining influence on your life. Pay attention to its impact and modify your interaction with it.
Let me share mine.
My morning routine is deadly predictable:
Wish I could stay in bed
Head to the coffee pot
While coffee is brewing, peek at phone (overnight emails and Facebook updates)
Click on the morning news
Sit down with coffee
Wish I could go back to bed
I know from past experiences, my life is better, my soul is healthier, when the screens do not make it to the short list of my first activities of the day.
This week I am not looking at a phone, computer or TV before my morning prayer walk or before 9:00am.
I will not say it has been easy. The impulse to click the remote or pick up the phone is strong. I've gotta say, my soul feels better. Connecting with God before I connect with my virtual life is restoring my soul.