One night last week, I walked into my house, looked at my kitchen table and I noticed something different than usual. I saw two brand new board games and a card. My husband walked into the room and said something along the lines of…
“I know that things get crazy and hectic, and we get distracted by our phones and tv, but we need to remember what’s important.”
Then he asked me if we could have a game night. No electronics (except a little bit of music, of course) – just us, Yahtzee, and the Game of LIFE. After hugging him lots in appreciation of the effort, I happily obliged. We laid a blanket down on the living room floor and we played games for over 2 hours. And you know what? It was the highlight of my week. What I initially thought was an adorable and romantic gesture, quickly showed itself to be an invaluable lesson.
While I sat across from him, pouting about my less than fortunate luck in the game of LIFE, then basking in my Yahtzee win glory, I couldn’t help but feel ashamed. Days before, we had played Words with Friends and Trivia Crack for hours on end on our phones. We were with each other, sitting next to each other, talking occasionally, playing a game with each other, but our eyes never left our screens. We were completely wrapped up – except when the occasional work email distracted us, or something interesting (or just plain loud) occurred on TV in the background.
When I would daydream about being married to Corey, I never once thought about how much fun it would be to sit next to each other during the week without talking about anything of importance, playing on devices, scanning social media waiting for likes and tweets and favorites – I thought about how I couldn’t wait to spend time with him after work, sharing the highs and lows of our days, being silly together.
When I make plans to grab coffee with a friend, I don’t anxiously look forward to sitting across from each other texting other people on our phones – I look forward to drinking a warm cup of coffee and catching up.
I don’t go to my favorite restaurant with family so I can take pictures of my plate – I go because the company is great and the food is delicious.
It all seems obvious, right? What’s the point of another person’s company if we are focused on everything except the person we’re next to? Are we too blind to see the consequences of our mindless actions?
Most importantly, how many more hours would I spend with God during the week, if I replaced online “shopping” with scripture and prayer? My heart breaks at this realization.
Every week, I spend 50+ hours on my laptop, phone, and iPad for work – this does not count browsing social media, playing games, searching for music, hunting down recipes on Pinterest, scoping out furniture for the house, looking at clothes to (put in the imaginary shopping cart and not) buy, asking Google pointless questions, logging calories, checking the weather… It all adds up, doesn’t it?
I love my devices. Without these beautiful things, I wouldn’t have my career! The possibilities are truly endless. They do a lot of good for a lot of people, but like most things, it’s all about moderation. Notice the repeated word? THINGS.
This week, I read a post from Lysa TerKeurst, that was shared on Proverbs 31. It sums it up perfectly and has left me feeling challenged:
“Most of us spend years chasing things in this world that we think will make us feel loved. But everything this world has to offer is temporary. Everything. The kind of love our souls crave is lasting, eternal. And only God can fill up our hearts with that kind of love.”