For the last few months, my iPhone has been getting progressively worse.
I’ve tried to clean out the dirt and grime in the charger port, but it still forces me to hold the charging cable suspended at an 87.54 degree angle with exactly thirteen tons of metric pressure pushing up to get a charge.
It all finally hit the fan last night when I couldn’t get the dang thing to work, and while trying to apply the metric tons of pressure necessary, the cable-head itself broke.
I’ve spent the first 45 minutes of my morning feeling frustrated beyond belief. I’ve been scouring the internet for simple fixes, researched how I might be able to tear my phone apart and replace the charging port, and come to the conclusion that I hate life. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks.
It’s a phone.
Why do I care so much about a phone? You’d think I was fretting about a dying relative by my mopey nature and random outbursts of anger. But this phone has become so much a part of how I do things – of how I run my day and how I function in this world – that being without it for even a few hours or days makes me feel naked.
And now I feel a little disgusted with myself.
Because I am currently allowing a device that is literally smaller than my hand ruin my day. Because I let it get this far. Because at some point in my life I decided this small device was so necessary in fact that I would intertwine it with the way I do things. And for years I’ve reinforced this mentality until I find myself here, broken iPhone and irritated expression.
I fumbled through one of my favorite pieces of advice from a good book, and I found a list of things humans should try to embody.
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and… what’s that last one? Oh yeah…
The peace is hard enough to come by in this world of constant distractions. When’s the last time we even heard silence? I read a statistic that back in 1940 it took approximately 10 hours to record 1 hour of silence, of a complete absence of sound. In 2010 the same 1 hour of silence took 3.5 months to record. But even while I struggle greatly to find that quiet place, that struggle is microscopic in comparison to my lack of self control.
I can’t skip a meal without my day being ruined.
I can’t go a few hours without a phone.
I can’t skip Game of Thrones on a Sunday night (and literally watch it on Monday) because even this… a television series… is too great a sacrifice for me.
When athletes train, they spend countless hours preparing their body for the grueling season of activity ahead of them. They do this, put in the time and the work and the preparation, so that they can perform at the highest level possible. And all of that work comes to fruition when the season begins, and those who worked hard rise to the top of the ranks above those who didn’t give it their all.
It’s not about abstaining from things just to prove I can. Nor is it about feeling better when I lack something.
It’s about control.
I want to have control over my body and my mind, not the other way around.
So for today, I’m going to ignore the fact that my phone doesn’t work.
I’m going to turn it off because it won’t charge anyways. But I’m going to leave it off. And I’m not leaving it off because I want to feel better about myself for today. Or because I want to prove I can do it.
I’m going to leave my phone off because I need to learn a little more self control and a little less reliance.
Because there is no greater season than life. And we should all be training constantly for it. Trying to be better. Working towards the type of people we are capable of being.
And I think we could all use a little more self control. Don’t you?