Well, my world record attempt has been foiled!
It wasn’t a serious attempt, but I do wonder about the oldest mobile phone that is still in regular use. I think if I could have held on for a few more years I might have been in with a chance because, until a couple of weeks ago, I had been using the same phone for 12 years!
Then the cleaner in the hotel where I was staying managed to drop my phone down the toilet and, despite my best efforts, it couldn’t be revived!
To be honest, apart from the hassle of not having a phone for a few days and losing half my numbers, I wasn’t too upset. It was time for a new phone. I remember, probably about five years ago, a friend squashing my phone under the leg of her chair. She was very apologetic, thinking she had broken it, but I realised I wouldn’t have been too disappointed if she had. I also realised the phone was pretty much indestructible- which it was, until the toilet incident.
So I have entered the world of the smartphone. I’m still getting used to it, but already I can see it is much, much better. I mean, my old phone was fine. It did what I needed it to do- I could call and I could text. I couldn’t access the internet… but I had other ways to do that, and I couldn’t take pictures… but I’d never been able to do that on my phone so it wasn’t something I missed.
Now I finally have a smartphone, I appreciate the different features I never had before, and I can see already that I am getting used to them and it would be hard to go back. It makes me wonder why I felt I had to wait for the phone to be broken. Why didn’t I just make the switch years ago?
I don’t think it’s just with phones that I have this issue either. It’s very easy to hang on to the old, rather than risking the new- either because the new is scary, because you don’t think you deserve any better, or just because you’re so used to how things are that you fail to look beyond that and see that there could be a better way.
I’m talking about hanging on to old beliefs, old ideas, old coping mechanisms or old patterns of behaviour. I don’t mean the really destructive ones. I mean the ones that basically work, that help you get through life okay, but which are not the best.
I remember once as I was talking with someone who wanted to pray with me about some issues I was struggling with and saying that it was okay because I was coping. Her response? “We don’t want you coping. We want you free.”
And it’s true. God wants more for us than just for us to be able to cope.
Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10). He didn’t come so that we could cope. He didn’t come to give us a life that is “good enough,” a life that basically works. He came to give us a full and abundant life.
There are lots of other examples in the Bible:
David writes in Psalm 16:11: “In Your presence is fullness of joy.”
Paul writes in 1 Timothy 1:14: “The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”
And in Ephesians 1:8: “He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.”
None of those words speak of us receiving just enough to get by. They speak of abundance and overflow and fullness.
It makes me ask myself:
- Where have I been settling for second best?
- Where have I been holding back from embracing the fullness of all that God has for me, all that Jesus died to accomplish?
- Where do I need to let go of old ways of thinking that have served me well to a certain extent, but which are not God’s best?
I don’t want to do what I did with the phone and hang on to these old ways until they finally work no longer. I want to trade them in now for a better model.
I hope you’ll join me.
Let me pray for you, using some more words from Paul: “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)