I find myself often picking on kids and teenagers about their cellphone/tablet usage and accusing them of being zombies, slaves to their screens. Honestly, though, I’ve been observing adults in the same zombie-like state lately. And if I’m very vulnerable, I’m often that slave.
Recently, I’ve found myself encouraging my leaders to unplug during Sunday service, although I’m fighting the same temptation to shoot off that last text during LifeGroup. What’s wrong with me? I’ve also recently observed many parents on their phones while at kids’ activities and missing opportunities to interact with their children or even, chaperone them safely.
Why are we on our phones so much? For some of us, it’s just a habitual action that is so connected to our muscle-memory that we just do it unconsciously on impulse. For some of us, it’s an intentional (or even unintentional) escape to avoid interaction with others – including our kids. For some, it’s a constant need for stimulation. For others, it might be fear of missing out on what’s going on in the rest of the world.
For whatever reason, I’m addicted to my cellphone and more dependent on it than I should be. Are you?
When I reflect on the life of Jesus and look through the Bible, everything points to being present in the moment, paying attention to what Holy Spirit is doing and how we should be responding. In Ecclesiastes, time and time again, the author expresses how fleeting life is here on earth, just like the book of Matthew, the Psalms, and so many other books of the Bible. We are short blips of story in the meta-narrative of God and our time to impact, influence, and experience life is limited. When I look back on the highlight reel of my life with Jesus, do I really want to account for all the time I spent on my cellphone?
Be encouraged parents. Tuck the cellphone away today and watch your kids rehearse that dance number one more time or pick wildflowers during their soccer game. I’m committing to making sure I do the same.
Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 | The Message (MSG) | Make the Most of What God Gives
18-20 After looking at the way things are on this earth, here’s what I’ve decided is the best way to live: Take care of yourself, have a good time, and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life. And that’s about it. That’s the human lot. Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work. It’s God’s gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now. It’s useless to brood over how long we might live.
Psalm 118:24 | ESV
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.