With my job, I’m constantly immersed in the world of technology and social media. I do almost everything online: connect with family and friends, listen to music, read the news, watch TV shows, and so forth. It’s amazing how much stock we put in technology. If we lose our phone or our computer crashes, we feel paralyzed. If our DVR fails and we miss our favorite TV show, we get upset.
Recently, I’ve realized how much of life we give up so we can spend time watching TV or hanging out online. We replace real interaction with technology, and we’re always thinking about the next thing on our to-do list or finding something to distract us instead of enjoying the present moment. We’ve all had those times where we hang out with someone and they are constantly checking their text messages or talking on their phone instead of really investing that time with you. They care more about what they are doing three hours later than what you have to say while you are sitting with them. I’ve sadly been that person.
I guess my point is that as we’re approaching one of the biggest holidays of the year, Thanksgiving, it’ll be easy to sit on Facebook or drone out in front of the TV. Instead of mentally checking out this year, maybe it’s time to put away the cell phone, turn off the computer and TV, and spend time in the present with the people around you. Be thankful for what you’ve been given here or now. Now’s the time to hear your grandfather’s war stories, fix a relationship with your mother, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate with a friend, or spend time in prayer and thanksgiving with God. It may be uncomfortable or awkward, but time is one of the greatest gifts we have to give someone, and God has placed those people in your life for a reason (even if they are crazy!). Your voicemails/texts/emails won’t go anywhere, so just let them be for a day.
I only get to see my family three or four times a year, so I want to make sure that my time with them counts. This year, I’m disengaging from my technology and spending time in community with my them. I’m so thankful for them.
What are some ways you plan to invest in the people around you this Thanksgiving?