Greatness in humility
March 10, 2018
Gov’t ministries must get more involved in SSFL
March 10, 2018

Acknowledging our addictions

Addiction - Wordcloud Medical Concept. The Word in Red Color, Surrounded by a Cloud of Words Gray.

By Juliana Valdez

There is a new sitcom on CBS, channel 122, entitled ‘Living Biblically’, about a modern-day man, Chip Curry, at the crossroads in life who decides to live strictly in accordance with the Bible. This he hopes will help him deal with the death of his childhood friend and his wife’s pregnancy. The series also raises issues about faith in a secular age.

In the episode I viewed, it was pointed out to Chip by his friends, Fr Gene and Rabbi Gil, that his addiction to his smartphone is the same as idol worship. So he decides to stop using it, opting instead to utilise his watch, compass, pager, paper maps, etc, items which may seem alien to some today. All this to prove he was not addicted.

Needless to say, he fumbled along, waking up way after midday, losing his way on the streets and not turning up for work. After a stressful day worrying about his whereabouts and thinking he might be dead, his boss and co-workers went to his apartment to look for him. Meeting them there, he explained his experiences, and as they say, all’s well that ends well.

While the episode was hilarious in its own way, the storyline of addiction set me thinking. The proliferation of technological items catering for all ages sees from the smallest to the biggest engrossed with one device or the other, engrossed sometimes to the point of being totally oblivious to their surroundings. Like the young man with the earphones in his ear, phone in hand, crossing in front of my car recently. Even the sound of my tooting horn took a while to register before he glared at me, and moved a little quicker.

Or the group of friends at a lime and each person is absorbed with his/her device. No real conversation, just sometimes showing the other something on the device. Or sitting at Mass and the ringtone of someone’s phone peals out, “Spread yuh hand and leggo…” The mad scramble to silence it, total distraction to the other worshippers, the suppressed giggles of the younger ones….oh my goodness! Or persons observed texting on their phones during Mass or at other functions, distasteful and disrespectful.

There are complaints from teachers about the challenges of the students’ spelling, creating sentences, writing essays, reading…The list is endless. The reason lies in the question, what part does reading books play in their lives?

In delivering talks at pre-school graduations, I implore the parents to balance the scale when giving gifts to their children, including books along with the tablet, iPhones, etc, on the gift list so that quality time could be spent reading to and with their children. They then will learn to prioritise and their focus will be well placed.

Chip from the sitcom acknowledged his addiction, do we? The thing is, addiction is not limited to the electronic devices only; there is so much more we are obsessed with, addicted to, which as the two men of the cloth told Chip, could be considered as idol worship, since we make them the centre of our interest and our main focus.

As we continue our journey through this season of Lent, we could explore our habits, activities, etc. Are we addicted negatively to the point of idol worship of these things or can we indulge in pastimes which can be considered positive addictions, recognising the one, true and living God as the focus of our adoration and worship, and our God is no idol!

“Come back to Me with all your heart……”

The journey continues.