Here’s the reality of today’s hustle and bustle: Jane wakes up in the morning, quickly gets ready for work (getting ready includes a workout, family to get out the door and grab breakfast on the way out of the house or to the office) PAUSE: Jane is forgetting something here – she’ll fit God in when she can; maybe during her lunch time (oops that 11am meeting will run over). Jane walks through the office building garage while scrolling her phone, she gets off the elevator still scrolling and walks straight through the opened office door by the reception towards her office. PAUSE: Between the time that Jane drove away from her drive-way and entering her office, here’s what she missed – her neighbor waving to her, the young man who was trying to cross the street to catch the waiting bus but she swooned past him with her car, the red car indicating to move into her lane so as not to miss the next exit, the office building garage attendant who waved good morning, the mischievous looking man in the elevator with her who kept stealing glances at her using her phone to conduct a bank transaction, the kind coworker who held the elevator for her and didn’t say thank-you, the nice gentleman who held the office building door for her as she entered and walked towards her office. All these before the clock struck 9am. Jane’s day slowly progresses as she juggles phone calls, meeting, emails, project work, school and husband check-ins, employee management and finally closing the laptop to head on back home. PAUSE: on the way home, Jane misses an important phone call from her dear friend Delores who Jane has been meaning to call for a while now (Jane was scrolling her phone and got caught up in an interesting video thus ignoring the phone call with the thought ‘I’ll call Delores back when I get home’. Jane ends her day with personal email checks, a quick bedtime story for her kids, a quick peck for her husband and prepares for another day in the morning. Can you identify the 3 important things Jane absolutely missed?
- Time with God – Devotion/Praise/Worship
- Etiquette – using pleases, thank-yous, phone call return
- Time with family – quick bedtime stories and kisses
Next morning rolls by and Jane calls her friend Delores; she’s at the hospital in a coma.
As I write this post, on some days I am Jane – as are many women all over the world. There is something called multi-tasking that we (women) seem to have ‘mastered’ so well that we can drive, eat, put on mascara, and answer the phone all at the same time. While doing all that, do we know what we missed? The priceless significant moments that make life worth living; particularly the one thing God created us for…to relate. Relationships are so vital to an individual’s overall health. With the advent of social media and technology, relationships should be easy to cultivate and nurture; however, they are the most difficult. While Jane has over 1500 friends on her social media platforms, she feels disconnected and the more she thinks she needs to connect, the more she shifts farther away from her relationships. Why? She is quick to like something without reading, and if she reads, she skims through for key words; she scrolls for items that eases her stress thus infiltrating her spirit with worldly garbage; she screens her phone calls and doesn’t remember the last time she checked her voicemail; she doesn’t remember the last time she read a good book, enjoyed tea/coffee with a friend or had a good wholesome laughter. So what is Jane to do?
- Your day starts and ends with God: Jane wakes up at 5am. To make sure her core is strengthened to face the day, Jane must wake up early…say 4:30am. If not she misses God at breakfast, lunch, dinner and all the times in between due to distractions. He is a jealous God and He needs to be at the center of everything we do. When Jane starts with God and ends with him, He makes known to her where her priorities should be thus she’s kinder, gentler, courteous, friendlier, helpful, and all around nice. Time with God doesn’t have to be a whole church service – be purposeful; know what you are seeking God for and allow him to fill you up. Have power bible verses, have a journal for gathering devotional thoughts, and have point prayers – know what you are praying for and pray for it.
- Take time to smell not only the roses but also blow the dandelions too: Jane’s daily routine is quite busy between work-home management-wifely duties-employer expectations-entrepreneur goals…she’s quite busy. But Jane, you won’t take any of these tasks and its results with you when you take your last breath… “when you survey all that your hands have done, and what you have toiled to achieve, everything is meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing is gained under the sun” Ecclesiastes 2:11
So slow down, smell that rose but most importantly, blow that dandelion .i.e. have fun, live a little, eat some cupcake, give that 15 maybe 20 second hug, smile at the garage parking attendant, walk barefoot with your kids in the backyard, play hide and seek! Nothing can satisfy your searching; rather allow God’s joy and peace to reign in your heart which then overflows to those who matter to you the most on this earth.
- Live life with purpose – to be remembered for who you were not who you weren’t: “Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose” Helen Adams Keller
When your feet touch the ground in the morning, what are your goals for that day? Do those goals include purposeful actions that will bless others? Such as making a mental note to check up on that friend who is battling financial problems, coworker who is going through a tough season, child’s classmate who is sick, and simply being present – physically or virtually. When you see a friend’s social media post either celebratory or solemn, do you ignore or take the time to send your well wishes? Ask yourself ‘who am I and who am I to the relationships that I have?’
Love with purpose, Laugh with purpose, Live with purpose! You only have but this one life; you don’t love people only when they are gone, you love them now and when they are gone you celebrate them. So for that social media scrolling, PAUSE and actually take in the information. You’ll find that the garbage that is going in is what will come out. Today, choose to relate purposefully one relationship at a time…Less scrolling, More living!