Hey you on the other side of this computer screen, scrolling because you are spent, hoping by some miracle scrolling will help you raise enough money to take your family to Disney.
Can I tell you something?
There’s a better way.
Too often I end up in front of a computer screen or TV screen or the screen on my phone. While waiting for my kids to come out of practice I scroll. When the day has sucked my energy and I’m counting the minutes till I can shut my eyes I scroll. At the dentist office I scroll to avoid eye contact with other strangers in the room.
And after all that scrolling I am still tired, worn, sapped, and empty.
What if we quit scrolling?
I decided to give it a try recently. Here’s what has happened.
Instead of scrolling while waiting for one of my kids to come out of practice or work, I pray for that particular child. I pray for his or her health. I pray the Lord helps him/her to stand strong in the culture. I pray he or she walks with God all his/her days. I pray God molds and fashions that child into an instrument used to his glory.
At the end of the day instead of scrolling I go to my room and read. Not only do I get time with good books, sometimes my husband and teenage children seek me out. In the quietness of zero screens we talk and laugh.
After the kids get on the bus in the morning I check my email, respond to messages, take a quick scroll down Facebook, and then I quit scrolling so I am ready for my date with God before heading to work.
In a short time I’ve read through most of the second half of the New Testament. (Truth in advertising: Philemon, James, Jude, and the rest of the books of the second half of the NT are quite short. It may sound like a lot, but in truth, it’s doable for anyone who’s willing to put in the smallest amount of effort.) As I read I underline what I think are the main points. I put a box around words that stick out. I pray. I am convicted and reminded I can do better. So and so is not the problem.
And when I stopped scrolling I notice how many people still are.
They scroll at red lights. They scroll while shopping with their daughter who is only ten once and asking if this dress is better than this one, or should I use my birthday gift card for shorts? They scroll while the old lady in the waiting room who is alone all day watches, wishing someone would notice and talk to her.
And while we scroll time passes that we can’t get back. Conversations that would have encouraged and blessed us don’t happen. Relationships with our children and spouse deteriorate. Prayers we haven’t murmured aren’t answered. Spiritual growth that would have helped us navigate what is ahead hasn’t happened.
And that’s to say nothing of the ten, fifteen, twenty minutes we could have used to do the dishes, sweep the floor, talk to our neighbor or sleep.
There’s a better way.
It’s totally doable and the payoff is substantial.
Scroll less and live more starting today.