As we prepare for the Sabbath Day together, will you consider doing something with me? Will you join me in "forgetting" the phone when meeting with people?
One of my biggest pet-peeves is when someone I've carved out time for sits in front of me constantly checking their phones. The truth is, I've done the same many times. I vowed to never make someone feel the way I felt; insignificant. I now try my best to practice the art of forgetting my phone. When I meet with someone, I simply send a message to those that need to know how long I'll be unavailable. Then, I leave the phone behind in the car. I must admit, I've often felt naked, alone, vulnerable. But boy is it freeing... to be present, to engage, to love. (Don't get me wrong, I love taking pictures, I love capturing videos and those special moments. So I plan ahead now, I'll take it before or after. Or I simply ask the person to take the picture for us. It's not about being legalistic, it's about doing your best to be present. Listen to the podcast above and you'll see what I'm talking about.)
Join me in repentance... let's show God, our loved ones, our friends that they matter, their time and stories matter, their life matters. I make it a point to thank folks for meeting with me, even when it's obvious that sometimes I am the "busier" one. Why? Because I am grateful that someone wants to meet with me! They want to hear from me, they are wanting me to hear them. Conversations are invitations, they are acts of hospitality.
Therefore, let's show our gratitude by turning off our phones and engaging... especially on the Sabbath. If I can do it, you can do it. I am the most appreciative of what technology has done for ministers like myself, I take full advantage of technology, as you know. And I don't think it's a bad thing in and of itself. But it's how we use it and when we use it that matters. Will you join me? Will you join me in the art of being present?
Thank you, thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you for being brave enough to rest and prepare your heart for the Sabbath.