I think I am addicted

 

photo by  Daniel Meigs .  Austin, TX August, 2012

photo by Daniel Meigs.  Austin, TX August, 2012

Yesterday, I had a pretty traumatic thing happen. Now I sure didn’t think it would be traumatic, but when I saw it happen I first had a sense of relief, then the words I’m Free entered my mind. A small jig began to pulse throughout my body, but I quickly held that back. I walked around the house looking to tell my wife only to realize I was home alone. So I waited, and waited, and waited.

So what happened?

MY PHONE BROKE AND DIED FOR GOOD!!!

At this point, you may be saying to yourself “why does he seem so happy about this?” I have had a hate/love relationship with this phone for a while now. My love language is pretty heavily quality time. Smart phones have caused our community to bury our heads into our phones which allows us to build screen walls around ourselves.  We miss so many things because we can’t wait to see what someone else did with their day.  We miss what is happening around us just because we want to see how many likes we got on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. 

Before it sounds too much like I am on a soapbox, let me tell you that the excited feeling I had lasted for about 45 minutes.  As soon as I realized what all I did on this phone a small dose of panic pulsed throughout my body.  You see, being the producer of a podcast requires a lot of communication with the other two guys.  We communicate to figure out who our guest is going to be, what our topics will be, and when we are going to get together to record.  We do most of this over a group text.  In addition, some really fun conversations happens with these two jokers.  We laugh about comments we got on twitter, and we ask each other how life is going.

When my wife arrived to the scene we started talking about what phone I was going to get to replace the old one.  For a while now, I have threatened to go back to a Motorola RAZR phone.  I have said things like “I just want a phone, not a computer.”  But the thing is, as soon as I have that opportunity, I immediately starting thinking about what I would be missing.  I started thinking how much I like to check football scores, or watch the game if I am out.  I like reading the news quickly whenever I please, and responding to a quick email if I need to.

I recently read a book talking about how Jesus interacted with people at a table.  He sat down with them to have a meal.  He was all about bringing people to the table and hanging with them.  This got me thinking.  What if I lived my life as if I didn’t have a smartphone?  What if I took every moment like it is my last?  What if I was invested in every single conversation I engaged in? What if I engaged in more conversations?

As life has gone on, I have seen how similar every one of us are.  We are all in need of bread and wine from Jesus.  We are in no shape to be able to accept the gift of Jesus.  But here is the thing, Jesus doesn’t care what shape we are in.  He desires we come to the table and we hang with him.  My prayer is that I take his example and invite the many to share a meal with my family.  Life happens when we go though it with others.  May I not take life for granted and approach each day like it is my last, because who knows, it just might be.

 

-brad

 

Currently Reading:

Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans

 

more bees with honey

I am terrible at writing. I thought it best to warn anyone who might read my thoughts with any level of expectation. With that said, adjust your hopes accordingly and let's do this thing.                                                           

I was looking at Facebook earlier. There is one specific ‘friend’ whose posts always bother me. By bother, of course I mean push me close to a rage. I don’t know if there is anyone who has taken on many of the same labels I have yet somehow believes the polar opposite of me on everything he deems worthy of sharing. Naturally, I started to do what is easiest and most satisfying, delete him as a friend and discount him as invalid due to his terrible beliefs. I can't bring myself to do it. 

Facebook is a great example of how we tend to prune our influences. We cut out people who disagree and accept those who will ‘like’ our political memes or amen us when we stand on our digital soapboxes. I have heard this described as creating a "social echo chamber." This strikes me as profoundly unhealthy. We stay in our groups establishing beliefs that are rhetorically beautiful, ignoring the influence or view of anyone outside our belief structure, and step out of our chamber only to draw lines and have all of ‘our people’ stand behind us as hype men as we belittle and mock those on the other side. 

I don’t have an easy fix. I do have an opinion. From my own experience and what I have gleaned from history, it seems that conversation between opposing sides is the biggest influencer of change. I know--profound, right? The art of conversation with people we disagree with has been lost. In my experience, most interactions between people that disagree quickly devolve into throwing rhetorical questions and statements back and forth trying to produce the biggest zinger. If we can relearn how to listen and validate people, I feel like we can establish a healthy middle. You know, more bees with honey, and all that.

-james