When I had a plain ol’ cell phone, it was pretty easy to set it aside on Sabbath days. I could turn it to silent and literally forget about it. That was before I began carrying a palm-sized computer, otherwise known as an iPhone (and I have the original).
Here are a list of my justifications for why I continue to need it, even on my day off:
1) It’s my weather guru. I think it’s genetic, because everyone in my family is obsessed with weather. I must know the temperature, wind speed, humidity, forecast, and check the radar. Then I must look at all those stats in Waco so that I can gloat. Then I check the weather in the cities and states where my friends and family live. Think that can count as praying for them?
2) It’s my flashlight. Whenever I finally get up, it is earlier than anyone else, except the dogs. I need the light of my iPhone to guide The Old Lady and the two Puppies safely outside where they can be fed. How would they ever find their way in the dark?
3) It’s my iPod. How can I play my “Sabbath playlist” without activating it via my iPhone? How can I download all those stimulating sermon podcasts, if I don’t tap them up?
4) It’s my email. Yes, I do check email (occasionally obsessively). Since I rest in the middle of the week and usually work on the weekends, it is necessary to see if something has come in. Often, a quick reply is all that’s necessary, but otherwise, it looks like I’m shirking my responsibility, which, of course, I am. But not today. I promise.
5) It’s my communicator. My son will still text me, no matter what day it is. My husband will still call me. And you know what? I want to talk to both of them.
6) It’s my alarm. I have two alarms. One is set for 5:05 a.m., when I usually wake up. The other is set for 5:05 p.m., when I start the new day. Observing the Sabbath has put me on Jewish time: sunset to sunset. That second alarm, labeled “Evenings,” signals the end of one thing and the beginning of another.
At the moment, my iPhone is snuggled in its cradle where it is playing Sara Groves’ latest album. I can ignore it a little while longer, until someone in my family (whether human or canine) needs me.