Screen-Time OR Real-Time

Looking down at your smartphone in a waiting room negates having to interact with others. Escaping reality is becoming normalized in today’s day.

In a coffee shop, if someone does not have a phone and instead is looking around at their surroundings – we wonder what in the world is wrong with them!

When I was a kid and looked down – I saw my dirty shoes, not my cell phone. I wasn’t holed up in a room looking at a screen all day until my vision was blurry and my head hurt.

I was outside all day, rolling my kit car down a dirt hill (Knight Rider), making a jump out of plywood, and exploring the wilderness that was in my backyard.

I hung out with friends, talked about hopes, dreams, and funny hypothetical situations.

Imagination was a reality…I was being a carefree kid and I didn’t mind getting dirty. I didn’t even know what hand sanitizer was, and bottled water wasn’t even a thing yet!

Young people may read this and think, “You’re another one of those old people who despise technology, we get it.”

I love technology and I love how we can share truth to many people at once! I use my social media as much as I can to get God’s Word out!

But I fear for the next generation.

They’re thinking that socializing and connecting only happens through screen-time. They’re attempting to gain their security from Friends and Follower’s that they don’t even know personally…

We’ve been caught up in this craze where screen-time has taken the place of building relationships in real-time. We’ve been distracted by looking down at our phones instead of looking up to God.

Jesus told us in Matthew 22 that, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Instead of looking down to escape reality, may we look up to the Lord and foster the most important relationship in this universe…Our time with God should be placed and put before anything else!

Instead of looking down at the screen of distant unknown friends, may we look up to those who are lost and lonely in this world. We are missing opportunities right before us because we are not looking ahead with expectations. God wants to work through us!

Yesterday at Wholefoods I was getting a couple groceries, and I got in one of the two lines. The woman in front of me disagreed about the price of something so the cashier leaves to check it out. I’m in a hurry, but I take a deep breath and try not to stress. I take out my phone, check my email, text my wife, and wait…

The cashier comes back and has to ring up all her items again. He takes them all out, pushes my stuff back and puts her stuff on the convey-er belt. I am mad in my mind but I resolve to stay there and learn patience, but more likely I was just stubborn…

The tattooed cashier runs her card – It’s declined. He runs it one more time – It’s declined. The woman looks defeated. I tell the cashier to just put it on my card and he asks, “Are you sure?” The lady looks at me and says, “Really? Thank you! Where do you go to church?” I told her and then she asks, “Did God tell you to do that?” What followed was a conversation about how Good God is!

God impressed it upon my heart to help this woman, even though seconds earlier I was on my phone, in a hurry and impatient. The woman had tears in her eyes and gave me a hug and the interaction ended. 

I do NOT want to miss opportunities like that, do you?

God places people before us to be a help and share hope, and He give us opportunities to reach out every single day. I do not want to get sidetracked because my face is in my phone.

Look up first, look ahead next.

It’s about God.

It’s about people.

 

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