Let’s begin with the definition of chaff according to Merriam-Webster:
- the seed coverings and other debris separated from the seed in threshing grain
- something completely worthless
I just returned from speaking at a retreat. My prayer and deep desire was to leave the ladies with something of value—something they could take home.
As I spoke about chaff, as in, the chaff in the book of Ruth where it was winnowed, I asked, What do you need to leave up here on the mountain? What does God need to “chaff” from your life?
I didn’t give it much thought but as I continued on through the weekend the word CHAFF remained in my head in big bold RED letters, even though in my notes chaff wasn’t written in red nor in bold.
I’m thinking, Someone really needed to hear that.
I realized that this big bold red CHAFF was a message for ME. It hit me. It hit me hard.
Ready for the big reveal?
When I arrived at the mountain camp retreat I turned off my cell phone because there was no cell service in my room. I also chose to not connect to the Internet.
I was cut off! It was detox. It was rehab. It was like someone took my drugs away. I kept thinking I needed to check my phone forgetting it was turned off. I was drawn to it like a crawling toddler to wires.
On my last day before turning home I heard from God what I needed to hear.
The chaff in my life was my cell phone. Nooooooo not my cell phone! It had become my best friend. It’s always there for me. When I’m bored or lonely or sad or want to feel more important. When I read my Bible each morning it was there just in case I want to look something up or just in case God puts someone on my heart I can respond immediately.
My reality smacked me like a bucket of cold water in the face: My cell phone was hurting my marriage and my family. It kept me from being present and alive and attentive. This friendly beast kept me numb from whatever was happening around me.
And here’s the kicker: The reason I kept my phone close and ready was because, What if someone in my family needs me? What if my daughter or daughter-in-law has a question for me? What if a picture of one of my grandbabies arrives and I don’t see it right away?
And do you want to know the funniest part about all this?
WE HAVE A LANDLINE.
My family can reach me at anytime by calling on our house phone. Enough said.
Here’s my action step: I’m turning my phone off. Since I’ve been home I’ve been turning my phone off for long durations and in the evenings. And I will take this one step further and say if you love me and see that I am being distracted by my frenemy please call me out with, Turn that thing off!
How about you?
Do you have chaff in your life? Do you have chaff in your marriage? Is there a step you need to take to make your relationships better with those you love? Is there something you need to cut out?
Does your cell phone get more attention than your spouse does?
The last few days have been revolutionary for me. Being present and enjoying those I love have left me feeling elated. My daughter even said to me yesterday, “Mom, bring it down a notch.” I’m free, I’m dancing, I’m present again—and I love it! I will not bring it down a notch. I am going to live all out and present and IN THE NOW.
How about you?
Live in the present, and give those you love your full attention.
Lucille Williams is an author, speaker, wife, mom, and grandma. Need a speaker for an upcoming event? Go to Lu’s contact page. Want to learn how to live all out in your marriage? Order “From Me to We” today or visit your local bookstore.