Monday, February 13, 2012

Are You All There?

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord…”  Colossians 3:23 (KJV)

Have you ever tried to talk to someone and have an important conversation and walked away in frustration because the person you were trying to talk to was so distracted you couldn’t get your point across?  Ever felt like you were being taken too lightly and that YOU were the distraction from something more important?  It doesn’t feel very good, does it? 

I have to admit, in our modern day of “communication technology”, I get very frustrated by our lack of communication.  It seems everywhere I look everyone lives in their own, isolated, little world.  I walk beside someone through a store, and they are talking and I think it is to me, when embarrassedly I realize they aren’t talking to me at all, but to someone invisible through a tiny device connected to their ear.  I walk into a store to pay for gas or a restaurant to place an order, and the cashier can’t look me in the eye, because she is too busy texting messages out into an invisible cyber black hole, so I stand and wait, (not very patiently) until she finishes, so she can hand me my change.  I watch a family in a restaurant taking bites of a meal in between the father’s cell phone conversation, the teenage son’s blaring headphones that are plastered to his ear, the daughter’s continual “oohing” and “ahhing” over her latest Facebook entries, the youngest child’s engrossment in his handheld video game, and the mother sits alone….a lonely, bewildered expression on her face, obviously wishing for some company.  Soon, she takes out her blackberry and begins surfing the internet.  If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.  Is this a twisted, distorted picture, or is it just me???

I must say I long for the days before all of this.  I miss pay phones.  I miss eye-to-eye contact.  I miss good, sincere, quality customer service, where I was treated with respect.  I miss the days when the customer was always right, and the customer in front of you always, always came first.  A friend of mine told me that her neighbors (a married couple) sat at opposite ends of their couch at the end of the day.  Instead of turning to each other and actually implementing the novel idea of talking while looking each other in the eye, they were catching up with each other's lives on Facebook!  Am I the only one who finds this disturbing and abnormal?  In our quest to find and make new socializing networks, could it be that we have lost the art of socialization?   

I find it sad when young people cannot sit through a church service without texting their friends.  Sometimes, I think it borders obsession to be so chained to a hand-held instrument that we can’t shake hands with the person standing in front of us.  Once I found it rude and inconsiderate while visiting someone who could not hold a steady conversation with me and others because of the continual beeping on their phone from incoming text messages.  Another time I was appalled to find a minister had trouble staying engaged in a prayer session in our home due to his continual need to look at his blackberry!  Unbelievable.

I read a quote the other day that said this…”wherever you are, be all there”.  In other words, live in the moment in front of you.  Give it and the people around you your undivided, sincere, absolute attention.  Stop other things, and live in the now.  Give due respect and lay aside distractions.  Be all there…wherever you are.  I think it is great advice. 

I wonder how Jesus would handle all of this modern-day technology.  Would He text during church services in the temple?  Would He continually interrupt His conversations with His disciples to check the latest on His Facebook page?  Would He distractedly ask the sick to wait a minute while He tweeted His latest news?  Would I feel hesitant, like I was disturbing Him or keeping Him from something or someone more important if I felt the need to approach Him with a broken heart?  Would He scout out the latest postings on the internet pages of fellow Christians in order to know what to preach about in His next sermon?  Or, worse yet, would He do this in order to gossip about His findings to others so they could criticize and find fault together?  I think we all know the answers to these questions.  J

Jesus was always all there, wherever He was.  His intentions were always pure.  He treated every person standing in front of Him as if they were the only person in the world.  They individually had His full, undivided attention…at all times.  He laid aside whatever else was going on to address the need in front of Him, and no one ever left His presence disappointed or feeling like they were a bother or interruption.  He is still the same.  Your prayers and cries to Him will be heard every, single time you pray.  He stands at attention each time you call on His name.  He is never too busy.  He is never preoccupied.  He is always all there for you…interceding to His Father for your needs.  He is never distracted, and He never causes any of us to feel that we are keeping Him from someone or something more important than us.  Now, my friend, I gently ask....shouldn’t you and I do likewise?

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