I set a new personal Fitbit record. I took over 14,000 steps today. That’s over 6 miles.
I also set the timer on my phone and spent 10 minutes in silence at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
Guess which was harder. Guess which felt longer.
If you picked the 10 minutes, you win the satisfaction of knowing you were right.
Why is it so hard to be still and silent for any length of time? Why is it that we feel compelled to check our smart phones or our watches or anything to distract us from stillness and silence.
Is it that those wonderful smart phones have further eroded our attention span to the point that we must have ceaseless stimulation throughout the day?
We’re losing the ability to interact with real people in real time in real conversations because we spend so much time virtually interacting with others through social media.
I’m not saying social media is evil. I’m not saying all of us need to immediately go on hiatus from all forms of social media starting today.
I am saying that we need to look up and look around us periodically. See the sunset. Go to a Starbucks and watch other people (but not in a creepy way). Have face-to-face conversations, make phone calls to your friends, write letters by hand, and live your life.
Since it’s Advent, maybe pay attention to all those decorations that are popping up all around you. That funny cat video can wait.
For those of you with kids, put your phones down. Your children will only be small for such a short time. It’s likely that the technology that made your smart phone possible will still be around long after your kids have grown up and left home and it’s no longer possible to create magical moments with them. So do that now.
Find five or ten minutes in your day to simply sit in God’s presence and be still and silent.
Trust me. It’s good for your soul.