Each morning as I roll out of bed, my first stop, being “a woman of a certain age,” is the potty. And more often than I’d like to admit, my second stop is my smart phone.
True, I read a short devotional while I’m in the bathroom. Too much information for polite company, I know, but I suspect others do this too. And my email inbox is full of spiritually encouraging blog posts from Godly women. They inspire me and start my day on a better, more spiritual, path.
But if I’m honest — and why not be? I’ve already shared my bathroom habits — the reason I check my email first thing is to see what awaits me. What mood was my sweetie in when he went to bed? Who’s going to need my attention today?
I often check work email as well. Are there student problems to foresee? Was there an error on the homework assignment? Did the campus computer system go down in the night, causing students to miss a deadline?
Sometimes I check both accounts several times during my morning routine as I shower, dress, get the monkey-boy moving, and get ready for work. All so I can have a better idea of what I will face today. What do I need to gear up for? What extra item is going to land on my to-do list? How am I going to have to guard my heart today?
Email isn’t always a good indicator of the day’s emotional forecast, though. If messages indicate there is a problem, I am forewarned and can gear up for it. However, what if no students emailed me in the night? Did no one have problems? Or will they instead be waiting outside my office door when I arrive? Will I be ready for that?
A pleasant message from my sweetie indicates he’ll likely wake in a good mood. But if there is no email, was he just too tired, or is there some issue with us? Was he too busy helping his kiddo? If so, were they wrestling with homework or soothing an asthma attack?
Of what use is checking email? Does it calm me down? Sometimes. I do get glimpses of happy thoughts that settle me down. “I love you” messages. Notes from my favorite bloggers, seemingly sent just for me.
But many times, checking email makes me more anxious.
In Philippians 4:6, Paul reminds us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Do I check in with God as frequently as I check my email? He knows what my day will be like. He knows what I need to gear up for and what I don’t need to worry about. He is the one who will give me strength to deal with everything the day will hold (Phil. 4:13). I need to check in with Him instead of checking my inbox.
Jehovah God, please forgive me. Although I do not worship my email exactly, I do sometimes fall into the trap of relying on it to see what my day will shape up to be instead of trusting You. Help me to put my trust more fully in You and your plans for me. You will take care of me and give me the strength I need to endure the things I will face each day, and I thank you for that. Through your son, Christ Jesus, I pray. Amen.