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What Are You Tethered To?

What Are You Tethered To?

Did you ever play tetherball when you were a kid? It was the one sport that I was fairly good at winning occasionally. I had the great fortune of going to the Knightstown Academy from 5th-8th grade, and tetherball was one of the few choices for recess. I have never been very coordinated and have always had breathing issues so tetherball was my sport. I was tall so I had an advantage and the ball didn’t have to be chased or caught. I don’t play tetherball any more, but unfortunately I have replaced it with my cell phone. I don’t have to have a lot of physical prowess to be entertained by it.

The other day I decided to take Gracie, my dog, and go get lunch at Hagerstown then go for a walk at Summit Lake. Well, I ordered my food and had to wait. I thought I would spend some time looking at my phone while waiting, only to realize that I had left it at home. I only had a small panic attack…checked everywhere in the car...thought about abandoning the walk idea...looked around for something to think about or do. Finally, I realized I would live and was way too attached to my phone, which led me to think about the word tether and tetherball.

Tether means to tie or chain something (horses, dogs, glasses around your neck, etc.). I usually don’t like to be tied to anything. However, I realized that I am tethered to my phone. It is my way of getting emails, connection to my family and friends, my safety net if I literally fall and can’t get up (insert your favorite emoji here), camera to record activities, weather station, map, clock, entertainment, etc. The list is almost limitless, and I am not happy to discover the power it has over me. It is almost always in the same room I am in or in a pocket if I am outside. That is ridiculous! The only entity that should be with me 100% of the time is God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

I think that it is an immense act of love and trust that God has not tethered us to Him. Galatians 5:13 says, “For you have been called to live in freedom – not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love.” That desire to serve one another should only come because we love God and WANT to serve him, not because we are tethered to Him. I am grateful every day for the knowledge and skills that God has gifted people with to improve our daily lives. I just need to not put so much emphasis on man-made items. Exodus 20:3 says, “You shall have no other gods before me.” In our day-to-day world there are so many things that can take our time and energy. Our jobs, favorite sports, TV shows, computers, phones, and endless other things should never come before God and our families.

It may take a little extra strength and courage to leave my phone in another room or not panic when I leave it at home, but I can do it. God is always with me so I will always be safe when I let Him be in control. By the way, I did take Gracie for a walk and had no need for the phone. Go for a walk one day soon and leave your phone behind!

Nancy Wadman


Nancy ovalNancy is currently the Interim Ministry Coordinator for Spiceland Friends Church. She has been a member at SFC for 23 years and loves her church family! She retired from Tri Elementary School in 2014 after teaching 6th grade for 39 years. In her free time, Nancy loves to travel and walk the trails at Summit Lake with her dog, Gracie!


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