Usage Alert

About five months ago my wife and I suddenly found ourselves face-to-face with our first teenager.  Gulp…   To up the ante, we hesitantly decided to give him a cell phone for his 13th birthday.  Gulp again…  OK, he’s proven to be pretty responsible with the phone so far, but let’s face it, he is a teen. All went well for the first couple months until a series of emails began arriving with the subject line, Usage Alert.”  They informed us that we (or to be exact, a particular new user on our plan) were getting close to our monthly voice / text limits.  It’s no wonder the texts add up quickly when conversations go something like this:

‘hey dude”


“what ru doing?”


“can u come over latr?”

                                              “idk – prob not”


                                               “mom says 2 much hmwk”

“:-(  ok cu 2mrw”

 A nine-text exchange in less than 60 seconds… it’s an amazing thing to watch.  Those fingers that never moved even half that fast in three years of piano lessons now grace the touchscreen like a virtuoso – rolling through texts and game apps like Mozart’s Rondo all Turca.  Oy.

Well thank goodness there are no limitations in our “calling plan” to God.  But it’s humbling to imagine the thought… if the Lord ever put us on a voice plan for our prayer lives, how many minutes would we need?   Suppose He started us out with 300 minutes per month (that’s 10 min of daily prayer) – would we go over our limit?  Would we even get a usage alert for coming close?

Here’s another thought:  what if we could text our prayers to God?  Would we take advantage of that?  Would we communicate with Him as frequently as we do our friends? But wait a minute… we can text our prayers!  Prayers have been put into written form throughout history, so what’s stopping us now?  We can creatively use the potential distraction of technology in ways that will instead draw us closer to the Lord.  So let me just throw this idea out there:  try sending a simple text to yourself at least once a day that’s really a prayer to God.  He knows our intentions, and He’ll understand.  Texting a prayer will give us a few precious moments during our busy schedules to really focus our attention on communication with the Lord.  And the bonus is those prayers will stay on our screens as a daily reminder and a growing prayer list for us to reflect on.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 — Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances.

– Ron Reid