Friday, June 26, 2015

**UPDATED** 10 Reflections

**UPDATE** One thing I left off this post is now at the bottom. Please make sure that, if you read nothing else, do read that.

I've been taking time away from online socializing so that I could pray, think and examine my life. I've been able to spend time with my grandnephew, read, study, and just detox.

One of the things that's been on my mind for some months now is that our society is designed to keep us busy and distracted. We are becoming very proficient at using our phones and computers, but we are losing some skills along the way.

I personally know few people who understand how to interact face-to-face. We talk without looking at each other (because we are looking at our electronic devices); we talk in almost the same kind of shorthand we use online; and most of us rarely talk about anything of substance.

The funny thing to me about all of our dependence on electronics is that we don't even take the best advantage of them. We just let them take advantage of us. Out of all the people I know who give so much of their time to their devices, only one or two of them understand the basics past texting, typing and surfing the web. Let something glitch and most people can't even begin to figure out how to resolve the issue.

Worst of all is that we are not even aware that there is anything abnormal about the changes happening in our lives.

Anyway. That's the end of my little rant on what I see happening to us as individuals, families and groups.

What I got out of the past several days of reducing my time online is that I was able to think. I'm going to continue practicing more balance with my social interactions. The time I spend offline is going to be more about family and friends. Time online will be for more productive things. I want to take advantage of technology and not let it take advantage of me.

During my downtime, I did meditate on so random thoughts that I will keep pondering and trying to focus on to improve myself as an individual, relative, friend, and Christian:

  • You cannot go through life hurting others or yourself without paying consequences. You will go along fine for awhile, but it all eventually catches up with you. 
  • Not every eventual consequence comes with warning signs. 
  • As adults, we should get the same treatment we give children. If we don't appreciate what we have, it should be taken away from us until we do. (Sometimes, that happens anyway, and it can be one of those things that come without warning.)
  • Most of us with life problems practice self-delusion. We think that if we ignore the problems, they aren't problems. And we think that no one else sees them.
  • Even if we don't practice what we preach, we should listen to what we preach. Usually what we criticize most in others is a reflection of our own situation. 
  • It's easy to say what we would or would not do, or how we would handle a specific situation. The real test is when we have to be in a situation and take our own advice.
  • Being honest with others is easier than being honest with ourselves. Being honest with ourselves can be painful, which is why we often avoid it.
  • Sometimes, the only person you are fooling is yourself.
  • I think that every one of us should take at least one day a week to turn off our TVs, phones and computers. We need to take time out to just hear ourselves think, feel our feelings, examine our lives. For anyone who can't do that, they should ask themselves why they can't.
  • If your sense of worth is based on worthless things, it's time to re-evaluate.

A prayer for myself and anyone else who is struggling with the issues mentioned in this post:

Lord Father, help us to recognize where the cheap distractions in our lives are coming from. Help us to resist anything and anyone who pulls our focus away from You and the good that You wish for our lives while we are here on this earth. Most of all, help us to love and encourage one another and to recognize that love sometimes means pointing out problems. Renew our love for our family, friends and those who are still searching for and in need of Your love.  In Jesus' name, Amen.