Going "Old School"
This is the age of technology – surrounded by gadgets and wireless gizmos that can do everything short of making us breakfast in bed. We’ve eliminated the need for CD's and even printed books and replaced them with things smaller in size than a piece of paper. Palm-sized objects are capable of holding entire libraries of information! We carry our “friends” on our phones and have replaced face-to-face conversations with texting– removing awkward appearances or emotional effort.
We’ve become dependent on the intangibles, the virtual, the web. We can turn the computer off when we are done perusing facebook; can close the internet when done shopping; can cease to text when the “talking” is inconvenient or hurtful. We can surround ourselves with virtual “friends” and hide behind masks of self-assurance while sitting behind a screen.
Technological advancement is interesting and fun, but it can be an easy escape. It is much easier to deal with superficial status updates rather than digging into personal conflict. Who wouldn’t rather post their latest photos on Instagram than having an uncomfortable conversation about how they haven’t been thoughtful enough or haven’t been around? Is there someone standing right in front of us waiting patiently for a little attention – an acknowledgement that they exist and are important to us? We each hunger for closeness from others and yet it is sometimes so hard to put the effort into forming, creating, or mending relationships.
Relationships take work. Work: activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. None of us really want a virtual relationship – it should be real and substantial. When was the last time you had a real date night with your spouse? Phones away, holding hands, enjoying real conversation with no distractions. Or what about a play date with your kids? Closing the laptop and taking them for a walk. Flying kites. Talking about silly things. Going for ice cream – REAL ice cream!
God is definitely in the business of relationships. He talks about honoring our father and mother (Eph 6:1-3), helping friends (John 15:13), encouraging each other (Hebrews 10:25). Life is a tough road and it is certainly best traveled together. And just as we take the time and effort to encourage a friend or family member, to laugh and cry together, to give new life and mend past hurts, so is God doing the same for us all the time. He is always faithful in our time of need. No distractions – no modern technology. Just some good, old-fashioned, quality time any time we need it – with or without a nice cup of coffee!