As I pulled into the parking lot for the dreaded Wal-Mart shopping excursion, I knew it was going to take awhile. I had to buy ingredients for our PASCO dinner for the men and women tomorrow night plus I needed a few things of my own. I wished, not for the first time, that I still had kids living at home to help!
I realized that I could be that help for someone else. Just a couple more hands to load bags for someone. They’d leave a little faster and maybe with a smile.
The first lady I passed was on her phone. I watched for a minute to see if she would hang up but she didn’t so I moved on. Another lady on her phone. A man. A mom pushing two kids. A young couple. Not one person walked to their car without talking or texting on their phone.
I ended up going in the store without helping anyone.
I greeted the greeter and she seemed pleasantly surprised. Do people not usually greet the greeter? Are they on their phones?
I use my phone constantly. I can’t cast stones here. But today I had to face the reality of living in a society where we talk about our lives more than we LIVE them.
We Instagram our meals instead of savoring them. We post our thoughts instead of musing on them. We text instead of conversing.
We’ve created worlds where you are the center of your own design. Reality becomes relative and you can ignore or accept everything around you.
Technology is great and we learn so much. But what are we NOT learning?
How to resolve conflicts? To have patience? To live each moment to the fullest?
I noticed everyone in the store. I saw the overwhelmed mother, the supplier who probably didn’t expect to be working at this stage in life, the young stocker who was on his first job. I saw fellow women, older gentlemen, young families.
I talked to every one of them. I wanted to be present in their lives and I wanted them to be present in mine. I wanted to LIVE.
As my turn neared at the conveyor belt, an older man came up behind me with just a few things in his cart.
“Come on, you can go before me,” I said. I’d heard my phone dinging the entire time I was shopping and figured it was time to check it. I pulled it out as he moved in front of me.
“Thanks,” he replied. Pointing to my phone he continued, “It’s hard to get away from that thing, isn’t it?”
My self-righteousness flew out the window.
I put it away until I made it home.
Challenge yourself to live fully. Put the phone away for a day, limit social media for a week, turn off tv and play board games for an evening…you decide! Pray about what keeps you from living fully and take steps to make a change. Be present in the lives of those around you!