Life is full of missed opportunities. Some of those mishaps cannot be avoided, but others are those of our own making.
I admit I am a tech lover. I crave for enough devices to use in my classroom. I want a new laptop so I can have something faster for writing and creating digital messages. I recently purchased the latest Galaxy phone not because by S5 was broken but because I was drooling for a new device. I was having so much fun getting familiar with the phone that every time my husband walked into the living room to talk to me I was distracted. I even caught myself swiping my screen in church. Shame on me.
I’m not alone in my obsession with my device. Did you see the video clip this weekend of the woman who was so focused on her phone that she fell down an eight foot construction hole? https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/06/09/the-alarming-video-that-may-convince-you-to-never-ever-text-and-walk/?utm_term=.393a60e2deee
The State of Texas finally passed a law that addresses texting and driving. Yay! It’s about time! The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that every day in the United States, more than eight people are killed in crashes that involve a distracted driver. There is another casualty I’m sure they haven’t considered and I know they cannot pass a law to protect it–relationships. If we are going to be distracted by our devices we should expect to miss out on something really great and necessary, building relationships.
Remember when going out to eat involved conversations? Now we can see people sitting around the table on their phones. Parents are bringing tablets to keep their young children occupied so they can enjoy their meals. Business associates spend meal time checking and answering messages. If you look closely you can see servers and cooks checking their devices as well.
I recently had a conversation with an employment coach who told me they had to remind their clients not to take their cell phones into a job interview. I thought it was interesting that it was necessary to give that advice. The coach said he had a client who didn’t follow his advice and checked his cell phone during an interview. Guess who didn’t get the job?
I’m issuing 3 challenges this week.
First: Count how many times a day you check your device at work and at home.
Second: Count the number of face-to-face conversations you have (personal and business).
If the device wins, maybe we need to revise our relationship with our device.
Third: Be intentional in placing the needs of others first. Resist the temptation to plug in when in the company of others.
I’m going to take the challenge myself because at the end of the day, I don’t want my husband to think my phone is more important than him. I don’t want my son and granddaughters to think I would rather be on my computer or phone more than spend time with them. I don’t want my only contact with my friends to be on social media and I certainly don’t want to be so distracted by my tech toys that I don’t spend time strengthening my relationship with my Creator.
Jesus teaches us in Mark 12:30 & 31, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, with all your strength AND you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.”
If we follow Jesus’s teaching, we will gladly limit our time with our devices in favor of focusing on what matters most. Love. Let us not love with words only, but also with our deeds (1 John 3:18).
Let LOVE be the device we use to show our children they have our unconditional support.
Let LOVE be the device we use at work to be the most productive employee.
Let LOVE be the reason we make phone calls more than we text or “message” on social media.
Let LOVE be the reason for your hope knowing that the Lord loves you and desires to spend time with you.
- Is your device the first thing you pick up in the morning and the last thing you use at night?
- What are some steps you can take to focus on what matters most?