If you glance around at people lately, it seems like anywhere you happen to be you will notice a majority of bystanders looking down. At restaurants, in stores, even walking down the road, so many people are intensely preoccupied with their phones, apparently glued to them as an extra arm extension. Even couples on a date or friends chatting will often be simultaneously wrapped up in a text conversation with someone across town. And if we aren’t on our phones, there’s a pretty high likelihood we are wrapped up in something else, looking down at our work or looking inward at ourselves (in a metaphorical if not physical way).
While there is nothing wrong with keeping in touch or researching or paying attention to technology, it becomes a problem when it eclipses human engagement and interaction, or when it distracts us from prayer and Godly consideration. Most people would have the common sense and decency to know that using a phone during a Sunday School lesson or church service is disrespectful– we would hope.
Just in case you are trying to justify the contrary, remember that once upon a time we were not so connected to technology and social media.
- As an experiment, try “losing” your phone for a day or even just a few hours. Put it away for church, and see if you feel any more connected with people. Look students and fellow congregants in the eye and speak with them.
Perhaps this is already a practice; wonderful. What else can we practice to become more purposeful, present, and alive? Look up and look out.
Look UP to Heaven, where the author and perfecter of our faith waits to hear from us and guide us.
Look OUT to fellow human beings. There is so much need in our world today. Whether it is in our local community, across the country, or on the other side of the globe, the struggles and challenges of mankind can be overwhelming.
It’s easy to get caught up in our own problems and daily to-do lists. But by considering the world around us we have an opportunity to help, to serve God, and to be better blessed ourselves. We live in God’s presence and become present for others. So put down the devices, lift up your eyes, and LIVE.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11