Some of the new ways we’re communicating with one another – or not – concern me. I’m curious if these impressions and reflections resonate with your experience too. And, I’m wondering if as believers in Jesus there is a higher ground to stand upon…
For example, with our eyes fixed on our smart phones, we simply aren’t fully present with one another. We’re distracted, believing we can multi-task (even though that theory’s been proven false) and still remain focused. Reality: we’re at maximum about 50% present to another when we’re reading and/or responding to texts or social media, talking on the telephone, playing online/video games, or typing url’s into our search engines.
Which leads to inattentive listening, “Oh, I’m sorry, were you saying something?” or selective listening, “Huh? No, I was busy and missed that one (translation: I chose to tune it out!).” Reality: our easily distracted minds can only handle so much input and we are left with receiving only that which we can or choose to absorb. Left alone in our own personal orbits, we miss a lot of both spoken and unspoken meaning in our relational interactions.
May I suggest we all consider a personal inventory, asking ourselves:
Are you fixated on having your smart phone within reach at all times? When do you ever turn it off or leave it behind for the express purpose of being free from the demands of others in order to be fully present to yourself or those around you?
What would your closest friend or family member say about your (in)ability to listen? What words would they use to describe your listening skills?
Lord Jesus, help me to focus today on You, Your people, and Your invitation to be fully aware of Your presence, peace, and power, and to all who will cross my path. May I be free from distraction so that with love and compassion I may be Your vessel of grace each hour of my day. For the honor of Your name and the glory of Your Kingdom. Amen.