Scripture Before Phone
November 15, 2021
Filed In: Faith
I just finished reading _The Common Rule_ by Justin Earley. A former missionary and currently an attorney, Earley lived through the negative consequences of many of our modern daily habits. He pushed himself too hard to gain max productivity, and found himself addicted to his phone.
In the book, Earley develops a modern Rule in the model of the religious Rules of Catholic religious communities. He lays out eight habits, four of which are to be done daily, and four of which are to be done weekly. He isn’t Catholic, but his writing and his theology sure read like he is! It’s a fantastic book.
One of Earley’s daily habits is “Scripture Before Phone.” He relates how early in his career, he’d wake up, open his email on his phone, and start responding to requests from colleagues before he even got out of bed. In the book, he explores how our habits build the themes of our days. Starting his day with his phone lead to days of stress and anxiety.
Seeking to overcome this negative trend, Earley decided that he would spend time reading Scripture before unlocking his phone for the first time. The result? He started his day steeped in God’s love instead of the responsibilities of work. He was greeted with the peaceful joy of time in God’s presence instead of giving up the first quiet moments of the day to frenetic work.
I’ve implemented this habit, and the results are wonderful. There’s very little quiet time in a house with four small children. I get up two hours before they wake up, but I budget 90 of those minutes to my physical health. That leaves me a mere 30 minutes during my waking hours when I’m alone and the house is still. Spending those minutes in quiet prayer is relaxing and rejuvenating. With my prayer time complete, I’m more calm throughout the day.
With the clock change last week, my kids are now up during the tail end of my morning prayer. If I’m lucky, Lucy or Felicity will come downstairs in her footie pajamas and climb on the couch to snuggle with me.
Morning is a beautiful time, one that should be enjoyed slowly with good exercise, good coffee, and quiet time spent in reflection. Nothing spoils a morning like 30 minutes of swiping and scrolling. If you want to try something different, commit to spending time with Scripture before your first swipe.