I’ve been observing people lately; all kinds of people in all kinds of situations. One thing that stands out to me is that people look down. They look down at their phones. They don’t listen fully, they are easily distracted. If you sit in the balcony at church, you see bowed heads perusing phones. We used to have nothing in our hands to take our attention, so we engaged fully in conversation. We didn’t expect a text because it didn’t exist, and the phone was tethered to the wall so we didn’t depend on them for anything but verbal communication. There was no social media; no abbreviations for laughing out loud.
With that, there’s also no lively debate. There’s no confrontation, there’s no human empathy save for a quick emoji. I’ve observed strong opinions about things that are futile, unloving haughty judgmentalism, and unbridled nastiness doled out in a few keystrokes.
I’ve also seen unselfish sympathy, exhortations of encouragement and time given to cheer another up with kind words of support. With innovation, comes both good and bad. It’s up to us to choose life and maintain relationships. My high school class is the very definition of kind, loving people. They choose to love and to encourage one another. They fiercely support one another and play together like kids. We graduated 46 years ago, and still stick together because we invest in each other. We use social media to stay connected and it’s an amazing use of technology. I can hear the heartbeats.
I think we have to choose to invest in each other. You can’t get a true feel for what another is saying without looking them in the eye. If someone trusts me enough to pour out their heart to me, I want to listen with everything I have. I want to make an investment into relationship with that person. I want to be in a three way conversation with that person, with Jesus, and with myself. How do we feel, what wisdom will each of us inject into it, and what experience will we share that brings light. We have to choose love, just like we chose Christ, God gave us free will, we can chose to spend that on sin or on righteousness.
So while I am grateful for the wonders of technology, I think I have to be careful to use it but not be carried away by it. I have to purposely put my phone down, and look at the person in front of me. I have to project love and caring, just like Jesus does. I want to hug them and hold them close, and know their heart. Lord, create in me a clean heart, and keep my wisdom steadfast in you.