Dear Mr Distracted

Hi,

I’m not sure why I’ve had to sit right next to you for three Sundays in a row. Fate? Chance? Destiny? I don’t know & now that I think about it, it’s actually not important. What I do know is the purpose for which I’ve felt pressed to write you this note.

It’s about that device in your hands. Well, not the device but what you’re fond of doing with it during the service. Wait. Please let me finish before you tell me why that’s none of my business. Please let me finish.

The first Sunday I sat beside you, my attention was diverted during worship by the sound of someone’s muffled laughter. I glanced in the direction of the disagreeable sound only to spot you, slouched in your seat, all smiles, with eyes dancing across your screen and fingers typing furiously. Since we were still in the middle of worship, I thought to myself ‘maybe this guy is downloading revs from heaven already‘. But a short while later, I discovered otherwise.
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Why won’t you just turn off the phone or put it in airplane mode? When already in the house of the Lord, wouldn’t it be wise to focus your undivided attention on the service and ignore all the social media notifications which although seem urgent are rarely very important? You can always read those messages after the service. However, if you let those social media notifications or aimless internet surfing distract you, you’re bound to forever miss the spiritual revelation God would have opened you up to right there in the service.

Arhhh… Forgive me if I sound too hard. It’s just that I think that if you’d only consider how this petty habit of yours is affecting not just you but others, you’d act differently.

Think about our heavenly Father. He’s as you well know, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Creator of the whole universe and master over all. Yet you show Him no respect by revering Him and giving Him your full attention when sited before Him. Would you fiddle with your phone when sited before a job interviewer or the president of your country? Is not God, our Father, greater and more important than those people?

How about you also think about the preacher. The Bible says to do unto others what we’d want to be done to us, yeah? So tell me how you’d feel if after spending hours, maybe even days and long nights studying, praying and preparing a sermon, you end up preaching to people who don’t think you deserve their attention? Bruv listen, the preacher too needs you to pay attention to the message so he too can pay attention to delivering God’s word for the hour. So please think about him too.

And alas, my humble self. You should also think about me. Your chuckling, your restlessness, the sight of shopping sites and beautiful pictures, seen if only from the side of my eye distracts me too. Would you be nice enough as to see that I already have my internal distractions to deal with and wouldn’t like avoidable distractions on the outside to add to my plight?

Bruv, all I’m really trying to say is, all texting, calling and unnecessary online surfing can wait when you’re in the house of the Lord. Our heavenly Father deserves the honor of having your undivided attention, you’d be the better for it and I and the preacher would also be very grateful.

Thanks for reading this letter to the end and for considering my suggestion.

Best Wishes,

Sister Observant

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  • Victory Odunjo

    Important word for this time.. It has almost become a norm in many churches today

  • VaSanganyado

    I laughed as I read this. Nowadays, when I go to any church I take my phone with me. A few weeks ago, I visited a certain church and I was on my phone. The usher whispered someone sitting on my row o inform me to get off my phone. I lifted my head to see who was saying that. The man changed his mind and whispered, “Never mind.” I am still wondering why he changed his mind.

    I do not have Facebook on my phone and I don’t carry a Bible to church. I have been in several situations where the preacher emphasizes his thoughts more than the Word, so to avoid cultivating a critical spirit my phone helped. I go to YouVersion and read a book I know can take 30 minutes to finish, James, Philemon, Galatians etc. At times, I go to Bible Study Toolbox which have a word by word Greek translation.

    Since the church usually post the sermon layout on YouVersion no one cares if you are on the phone. Must people of my age will be on the phone. New members sign up on their phones during worship.

    I am in to education a lot, some schools are developing curricula that encourage productive use of the phone. Many schools have reported increased participation and performance when technology is changed from a tool of distraction into a vehicle of instruction.

  • Eva

    I also come from a church where many of us use our phones or tablets to read along in our Bible app…which I find totally acceptable….especially when the lights are on and the light from the screen is not distracting. BUT….using it for anything else when it can obviously be a distraction to others and potentially ruin their experience with God is not ok. People need to be more respectful and considerate of others. Good blog…great topic. Keep up the good work.

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