I enjoy my smartphone. These mini-computers we carry in our pockets can do so much, and I’m sure there’s a lot that mine can do that I don’t even know about.
It connects me to people and to the world. The telephone feature usually takes a back seat to texting, and emailing, and getting on the internet. There are all the ‘social medias’ which I try to stay current on… When I was trying to figure out a new feature recently I was labeled by one of the young adults in my home as a, “OPOI,” which apparently means I’m an “Old Person On Instagram.”
Of course my smartphone can take pictures and videos. I remember having to carry around a camera and film, being limited to the number of pictures I should take so as not to waste it, and then waiting a week to get pictures developed to see whether or not I got my finger in the shot. And I used to borrow or rent a video camera, with tapes, and it was heavy… Now, if I hit the right button (and I don’t always), I can have video memories in seconds…in HD!
This device in my pocket also plays music. I have boatloads of albums and songs loaded and ready to listen to with just a few touches. And there are streaming services like Pandora and Spotify where I can listen to countless more. There’s certainly no more need for my “Boom Box” or “Walkman” from middle school!
The Maps feature with GPS is mind-blowing. It knows where I am and helps me get where I’m going. Google Maps will get you there (usually).
I have an app to track my running; an app to watch TV; an app the doubles as my remote control… All of the personal contact information that I used to keep in a phone book and a Rolodex is now accessible with the touch of the screen. I have an app to help me pray, to read the Bible, and to takes notes. My calendar tells me where I’m supposed to be and my weather app tells me if it’ll rain while I’m there.
There are so many applications these devices can run, and ways that they are simplifying our lives. But one problem I’ve run into is when the apps on my phone interfere with each other.
That happened a few weeks ago. I was heading to one of the Cleveland Metro Parks for a morning run. I had just downloaded a new worship album to listen to along the way. Since I’d never been to this particular park before, I put the address in Google Maps to navigate my way there. Then I plugged my phone into the auxiliary port in my car and hit play on Samsung Music.
There’s a feature on my phone, it’s probably on yours too, when my map app gives directions… It pauses the music for a second so the lovely British lady can tell me where to turn next. That’s convenient…most of the time. On this particular day, it was getting on my nerves.
It seemed like every time the music would get to a good part of a song - meaningful, moving, inspiring – the GPS would cut in and tell me the next turn! Now, you need to know that I tend to sing along in the car at times, especially with worship music, and not necessarily softly… So picture me, singing at the top of my lungs, “There’s no shadow you won’t light up, mountain you won’t climb up, coming after me! There’s no wall you won’t kick…” and then that British lady interrupts with, “In 2500 feet, turn left.” It was frustrating!
I was tempted to either stop the music, or turn off the GPS…but I didn’t do either. I needed to know where to go, and I wanted the music as I went. And in that process, I had a thought… Maybe it’s when we’re worshiping that we should expect God’s interruptions, telling us where to go and what to do. Not only should it not frustrate us, but maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to work.
You see, I don’t think God gives directions to people who aren’t worshiping Him. And by ‘worshiping,’ I don’t mean singing off key in the car. By ‘worship,’ I mean keeping God number one in our hearts.
Proverbs 3:6 puts it this way: “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” When God is our object of worship, when we’re acknowledging His authority in our lives, it’s then that we hear Him guiding us along the way. It’s not an interruption. It’s how God works.
So the next time your GPS interrupts your worship playlist in the car, embrace it! Let it remind you that God directs hearts that are worshiping Him.