All 34 people are glued to their individual, mini, LCD screens.
Isn’t this a common picture of today’s average restaurant, DMV, doctor’s waiting room, or work break room?
We say we’re “at work” or “out to eat”, but really we’re surfing through a virtual world of online shopping, social media posts, blogs, videos, you get the gist.
How wise is Paul?
As Paul sits in a jail cell in Rome, before his execution, he writes these words that span all time and are useful to all generations. He says, “Be very careful”. No, no he does not mean ‘be careful so you don’t walk into oncoming traffic’ (although someone glued to their phone may do so). He instructs us to be careful to make the most of our time of grace on this earth.
I can’t miss the latest sales.
I need to be in the know about my friends’ lives.
I just have to read this one blog on 2017’s “Holiday Gift Guide”.
These are just a few excuses we may give as to why we are so attached to our phones. Our device etiquette has caused us to get out of whack with the real reason we live and breathe today.
“Go and make disciples of all nations…” Matthew 28:19. Simple. To the point. Clear.
I can imagine God saying to himself, “How could they screw this one up?” Well… we did, and we do daily.
Our devices can be such blessings and truly can aid in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, but we often utilize these handheld computers not as tools to greater His Kingdom but rather as time suckers and relationship crushers.
Instead of greeting a neighbor at the mailbox, we’re texting our friend about last night’s episode of the bachelorette. Instead of asking the elderly woman at the grocery store if we could carry her groceries to her car, we’re checking on the status of our latest Facebook post.
These quick interactions with people we may call strangers might seem minuscule at the time, but perhaps they could lead to something far greater: a relationship between them and their Savior.
When Paul tells us in Ephesians to “make the most of every opportunity”, he’s referring to every opportunity we have to complete our mission, the Great Commission of telling others about Jesus.
I was on my phone, waiting in line to donate plasma the other day, and two ladies behind struck up a conversation about how everyone seemed to on their phones. I immediately tuned my ears to their conversation. They went on about how the younger generation doesn’t even know how talk face-to-face anymore.
I sheepishly put my phone back into my purse, determined not to be lumped into the stereotype. The rest of the time I waited in line I thought deeply about what they had said and how it could affect me. It struck me that I might be missing out on thousands of opportunities to spread the unconditional love of Jesus with so many people.
People may even see me as unapproachable if I’m always scrolling through my phone. They may never respect me enough to listen to the beautiful words of the Gospel.
Our presence here on this earth is a present from God, a true gift. I believe we can all take a little advice from Paul and learn to be more careful how we use our time, so that we can make the most of every opportunity to reach lost souls with the comforting words of love of peace found in God’s Word.