An Inch Wide and a Mile Deep

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In the blink of an eye, my phone has become an added appendage to my body. I carry it with me everywhere I go. Even when I am not using it, it seems to be within reach. Every moment seems to be documented on this little device. It makes the most unbecoming accessory. It offers connectivity to the world, while at the same time it disconnects me from what is right before my eyes. It seems that my world often revolves around this tiny box that is only 5.33 inches long and .28 inches deep. I often wonder if the depth of my phone represents the depth of my soul when I allow it to control my thoughts and actions more than I allow God to be the master of my heart?

Lately, I’ve noticed a trend in my phone usage: I pick it up when I want to “escape” boredom, avoid stringent tasks, or be “inspired.” However, the majority of the time I eventually put down my phone forgetting the tasks I needed to do, feeling as if I’m not dong enough, envying the lives of others, or doubting what God has called me to do. It seems that in the blink of an eye I find myself trading a full, abundant, present life in Jesus for one that is dictated by apps that feature the lives of others. What other people are doing has the power to control my level of satisfaction and contentment if I allow it. In our social media saturated world, I believe that the principle of Proverbs 4:23 is all the more required for us to guard the treasure that has been entrusted to us by Christ. This verse wisely guides, “keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” The word “keep” means to guard and watch over. Furthermore, the word “heart” refers to the “inner man, mind, and will.” We are to guard our emotions, thoughts, and thinking with all diligence, knowing that from within flows the springs of life! This is no easy task - it requires great discipline, gospel vision, and God-fearing determination.

What we behold becomes evident in what we believe about God, others, and ourselves. When I put my phone in front of my eyes first thing in the morning before I behold the power of the Word of God, my day is off kilter. I need Jesus first thing in the morning, and I need to know what HE has to say before I hear what others have to say. I don’t want to live the shallow kind of life that is a mile wide and an inch deep, I want to swim in the depths of God’s grace, embracing living a life that is an inch wide and a mile deep.

In the cloak of human flesh, Jesus Christ modeled for us how to live a life that is an inch wide and a mile deep. He spent most of His time with just 12 disciples, teaching them His ways and pouring into them. His earthly “vocation” was carpentry, an average, mundane job. His will was to do the will of the Father, not the will of others. He followed the voice of God over the opinion of man. His mission was simple and clear. He didn’t waste His time envying others, and He certainly didn’t spend His quiet moments gazing at the lives of those around Him. He looked to the Father for direction and communion. He didn’t do absolutely everything while He was on earth, He did what the Father commissioned Him to do. In living life an inch wide and a mile deep, Jesus had the greatest impact of all people who have ever walked this planet. His impact lasts into eternity.

I think we have it all backwards when it comes to social media. We look to numbers to define us rather than to Christ, and in doing so, our lives are a mile wide and in inch deep. We think that bigger is better, when Jesus shows us that smaller is actually bigger. He is after our hearts, not social media platforms. I don’t want my phone to distract me from the main mission I’ve been given - to know Jesus and make Him known. I want to use it as a tool for the kingdom of God, and I know that in order to do this I must guard my heart with all vigilance.

If you feel like your heart has been locked in the prison of your phone, and like your soul is weary from living a life that is a mile wide and an inch deep, let me encourage you today to set the phone down and place it on the altar of God. After all, He created the very atoms that make up your phone. It’s not yours, it’s His. It is a tool that can be used for great good or for great harm. By His grace, we can be women who aren’t ruled by our phones, but are ruled by the gospel of Jesus Christ. You will never regret setting aside your phone to laugh with your child, to smell a blooming flower, to run outside with empty hands, or to read Scripture with no distractions in view.

Living an inch wide and a mile deep begins with boundaries that are set up to guard within us the treasure of Christ, the hope of glory. After all, Jesus didn’t need an iPhone to impact the entire world, He simply kept His gaze on the Father and loved those around Him enough to tell them the Truth and call them to repentance and new life. But praise God, Jesus still uses iPhone’s to not only build the kingdom of God, but to build us up at the same time if we use them diligently and with discretion. 

May Jesus use our phones to remind us that this life is about more than numbers, social media, and being constantly connected to the world. Instead, may all that we say and do overflow from a deep walk with Him and impacts those around us for all eternity. 

setting aside my phone and going deeper,

Gretchen