“Unplugged”

They say that the best sermon one can preach comes from personal experience…this topic is no different.
I find myself looking at my “smart” phone far too much.
I invest my time in technology and social media far more than I should.

I am not saying social media is bad, on the contrary it can be a vital tool to ministry, family and life.
But you know what they say about too much of a good thing…it might just become bad for you.
I cannot begrudge social media, after all, this audience on Pastorsponderings was grown out of social media.
You matter to this blog, these ponderings, and to me…but…we sometimes need to just unplug from it all.

We have to get away from our devices and look around us.
We have to put down our cell phones, computers and tablets and spend quality time with our families.

I don’t know about you but there is this constant need to see what other people are saying and writing about on places like twitter, facebook and tumblr.  We check our status’ hundreds of times throughout our day, but God forbid we ever enter a place where there are cellular dead-zones.

I’m tired of family get togethers that look like this:
cellsWe drive miles and miles to our families for holidays and after only a short time we are doing this while we sit around and soak up the electronic silences on the couches and chairs.  We are mere feet from our loved ones and yet we may as well be miles and miles away.  Again, I’m talking to myself in this, but it the shoe fits…

…I must confess that I am horribly guilty of this type of technological distraction.
I just don’t want any of us waking up some day when some of our family members are gone from this life and regret not spending more quality time with them instead of facebooking our closet 1,000 “friends”.

At Play:
cells2The other day, my sister told me of her experience at the park with her boys.  They went there to play and enjoy the last remaining days of summer before school begins again.  As she is watching her children play, she looked around the park at all of the other parents and she noticed, with dismay, the distraction of many of the parents.  Their eyes were glued to their cell phone screens.  Is it no wonder our kids seem clingy and demanding of our time these days when we don’t even realize how disconnected we are from them because we’re too busy commenting on a photo or dialoging on another group or post?

Again, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with these “social” things, but if they start becoming a distraction to our everyday lives and to our families then something has got to give…something has to change!

At Church: cells3
Isn’t “Church fellowship” supposed to be real live connecting with people?  Isn’t it supposed to be a time where we connect with God and worship Him?  Isn’t Church a place where we put down our distractions and begin to LISTEN to Him?  I don’t mean to say that we don’t do that else where in our daily lives, but Church ought to be a place where we unplug from the things of earth and plug into a God of the Universe.  Yet, we find ourselves once again digging into our pockets for that iPhone or Android device to see what is going on with our favorite team, friend, frienemy…you get the point.  Why is it so hard to unplug?  Why are we constantly looking at our phones?  And don’t tell me you’re just finding the scripture verse the pastor is preaching on either…maybe some of you are, but not all of you are.  Are we bored with God?  Are we bored with the message on Sunday?  Are we easily distracted by the world around us?  What is it?

I am not pointing the finger at you without first pointing the finger at me…I do this, I am equally as guilty.
I look at my screen far too many times in the day.  I check status’, I read emails, I constantly text…I do all of these things.  They aren’t bad things, just distracted things…especially when my son is on the soccer field playing a game…especially when my 7 year old twins want Dad time and I only give them a part of my “full attention”…especially when my 14 year old needs help with homework and I’m sitting there commenting on another post…especially when my beautiful bride is talking to me and I’m only partially listening and the other part of me is tweeting something sarcastic.  You see, I need to choose my times to unplug too.  I need to get away from the distractions of my devices too.  I need to spend time with my family, with my church, with my God.

For Us To Ponder: 
Do you need to unplug today?
Do you need a technology fast?
Do you find yourself constantly distracted by your cell phone or other devices?
Perhaps you need to “unplug” it for a while.
Perhaps you just need to put it down on the kitchen counter or nightstand and walk away for  a while.
Cell phones have this awesome new invention called “voicemail” and it allows you to actually call someone back later (Sarcastic comment, sorry).

Is it time to unplug for a while?  You decide.
Something more to ponder today…To God be the glory!

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