We spent about 3 hours today driving through Cades Cove just outside of Gatlinburg Tn. About 30 minutes outside of the Cove, the cellular service ended. No phones, texts, emails or social media came through. We were captured by the simplicity and beauty of creation.

At first, I was a little antsy feeling the loss of my lifeline with the electronic world I live in. I found myself looking at my phone every few minutes, wondering if there was by chance a small open portal back into civilization. But it became obvious that this was not to be until we came back out of the Cove.

One of the things the Lord has dealt with me about is distractions and especially electronic ones. There is something unhealthy about the time that we believers spend on electronic devices. Why?

I wonder if Moses would have noticed the burning bush with an iPhone in his hand? Would David have heard the songs of the Lord had his ears been filled with streaming through his earbuds? Would Solomon have received the wisdom from God had he been following the social media of the day?

Can we just be comfortable being alone, quiet and still with God? How many “flaming bushes” do we miss each day? How many heavenly downloads do we sacrifice for the electronic downloads we subscribe to?

Can we just be still and know that He is God without a little help from our playlists? Turning off our very little watched TV one year ago was not really very difficult. But today I hear the call to come higher to go deeper.

I heard once that Steve Jobs of Apple said his goal was to create a product or tool that people could not live without. I believe in the lives and minds of many, he has succeeded. Instead of our mastering the “tool” simply for our own benefit, I fear the “tool” has mastered us.

Todays message was very clear. Time is of the essence and distractions, even addictive distractions, are hindering us from seeing, hearing and experiencing the God moments we need for this day.

Surprisingly when we came out of the Cove and the delayed emails and text messages came pouring into my iPhone, the world was still standing, and I had experienced a beautiful 3 hour encounter with God and His creation.

Seeing this beautiful black bear as closely as we did was priceless. I would imagine had I had cell service I would have been answering a text or responding to an email. I’m so glad I didn’t.


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