“Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.” – Romans 12:9-10 (MSG)
Let’s face it, it’s nearly impossible not to get caught up in the rush of our activities that make up our daily lives. We completely forget how to be thankful for what we have and those that make up our intimate circles. How often do we find ourselves rushing off to work or wherever thinking we can give that hug, kiss or that simple “I love and appreciate you” later in the day?
Through recent events in the lives of those around me I’ve reflected on quite a bit of this sad truth. Those I know and hold dear have been plagued by what we would call unforeseen circumstances or tragedies. In being a witness to their lives and stories I myself I’m making a very determined and concerted effort to not let the opportunity of telling those around me how much I care and feel for them. It could be as small as “Hey, how are you doing” by taking the time to REALLY listen vs. the usual lip-service. In the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives we completely forget that tomorrow isn’t promised. Now we’ve all heard that saying but how often do we also forget that tomorrow isn’t promised to those we know and love either?
The stories of great personal tragedies in their lives or those they know can at times seen unending. With each conversation I’ve been in there’s a familiar theme with as we talk about the loss of those dear to them and that is “I wish I would have called them when I meant to or hugged them before they went out.” or “I never got to talk to them to see how they were doing or stopped by that day when I meant to… and now I’ll never be able to.” Themes like this can leave one to wonder “What are the conversations that I’m having with those in my own life?” and “Have I stopped to REALLY TALK to someone or is it just the same old ‘Hey there hope all is well’ text.” It has truly made me wonder and dig into myself…
During my ponderings last week, and as I was viewing the news online, I came upon a commentary. The report gave me quite a good laugh on a new App that is sweeping the nation. The App bolsters on how its developers have achieved the ability to “scale down” the tiresome and bothersome need to type 11 keystrokes for sending message to one another by relieving the user by instead using a “simple 2” keystrokes. With this App you are able to not only send a 2 letter phrase (wait, take that back as the word “phrase” is probably being too gracious) to the recipient who then in turn, if they also have the app, can reply back with the same conveniently scaled down word… really… After having my laugh at the ridiculousness of people coming up with ways to NOT have conversations I began to think “Is this really were we are on the value of our relationships with one another? Do we really hold so little value in spending any actual time with one another that we now try to find ways to limit or communication to 2 stroke keywords? What’s next, grunting at each other as we pass by in the hall?!? Why is it that the sheer thought of seeing a call pop up on our phones gives us instant hives thinking “Ughhhhh why are they calling me and how long will this phone call be??? I’ll just let it go to voicemail.” By no means am I posting this to stand back, pointing my little accusatory finger, solely at others when in fact that finger was first and foremost already pointed at myself!!
Instead of engaging a person face to face we instead go running to our phones and/or computers to shout to everyone what we’re up to. (insert #cynicism# here) Instead of freely giving others our “precious” time, by really connecting with someone in conversation, we instead prefer our self-erected center stages via social media. We step up and take the platform by posting our lives, pictures, selfies and what-not-or-other to then see how many “likes” or “followers” we can collect. And let’s not even get started on the sheer horror of actually picking up a pen to WRITE a letter or send someone a card???? AHHHHH!!! (SMH) If there’s any way we can finagle the option to reach out, by way of a “tweet” or “2 keystroke” text, we’ll find a way just so that we don’t have to give up that magical and heavily guarded thing in our lives…our time.
But sadly enough we aren’t the only, and quite frankly, biggest victim in all this. That spot has been reserved for our God and Lord Jesus. The percentages of His children actually even showing up for what could be referred to as the “BIG TWO” (Easter and Christmas) has even dropped off into the abyss.
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT)
Putting all jokes aside my hope is that we are not complacent in our ability to make a change for the better. Regrettably it’s typically only when unforeseen tragedies, such as the sudden loss of someone, or some type of catastrophe happens do we then remember just how much of ourselves that other person had. Only then do we reflect on all the words and touches we missed out on giving, or just how petty it was to harbor that grudge that prevented us from calling or stopping by. The beauty with these events is that it is never too late for those still filling our “circles”. It’s never too late to take that moment to sit with our spouse, child, friend, family etc. and have them fully know just what they mean to you and so many others. It’s never too late to forego the “app” 2 keystroke choice for instead picking up the phone and telling someone how special they are to you and the world. It’s never too late to sit in silence to have a conversation with our Father who would love to hear our voice allowing us in turn to hear His. The days are in fact short but praise God our opportunities to love one other and for God to love us is in fact forever and eternal endless.
Be Forever Blessed in God and in Each Other,