today I want to talk about something that has been really important to me lately.
Hey uh… Could you put your phone down for a second? Thank you.
What I want to talk about is being in the moment and how we have adapted to living in a world that is full of distractions and useless interactions. I want to talk about being in the moment and intentionality. This is important stuff.
First I’d like to say that I am GUILTY of this and I am no better than anyone else. I just feel like these ambitions of mine are important and need to be shared. I’m on your team.
We live in a world that almost takes pride in our distractedness. If I could name our generation, I would call us “Generation Multitask.” We think multitasking is a good thing and that we do it well. My good friend Vic said this: “multitasking is a myth. You just doing a lot of things badly.” I couldn’t agree more with her. You aren’t doing a few things well, but you are doing those things badly. I think multitasking comes from our distractions.
One major distraction we have today is our cell phones. They distract us from conversation, eating, memories, driving, and life in general. You’re probably reading this on your phone while trying to do some other task and getting distracted from even reading because you just got a text of a cat meme from one of your friends. I wrote half this post on my phone while eating and talking with friends. I don’t remember what my friends said or how good my food was, but oh well. See what I’m saying? Our phones are extremely handy tools, but they can also be very dangerous. How much time have we taken out of our lives with our face in our phone? You may have taken a beautiful Instagram photo of a great time with friends, but then spent painstaking minutes trying to find the right filter and thinkin’ of a clever hashtag, but what about the moment? You aren’t in the moment– you’re in your phone. I can’t even tell you how many people I see drive stupidly because they are on their phone. The saddest thing I’ve seen from these wonderful communication devices is that they have taken away our communication skills. Sure, we can send out group texts to the squad, but how often do our face-to-face interactions have any depth or intention? I’ve talked to a few men in the older generation who have said how sad they are that we have lost the ability to communicate well in real life. We need to take time and reflect on this.
Our phones aren’t the only thing that distracts us, but they are a great example. i want to talk about being in the moment. For some reason, we feel like being in the moment is a bad thing. We have even given being in the moment a name, it is called the “Awkward Silence.” we absolutely HATE that awkward silence and will do anything we can to fill it– that could be reading the newest tweets on your phone about what color a stupid dress is, or turning on the TV for “background noise” while you eat. I think that being in the moment is that “Awkward Silence” and it is a beautiful thing. It is a beautiful thing because when we have an awkward silence it gives us a moment to process what we are hearing or seeing, and gives us time to craft an intentional and intelligent response. It could also be looking at an amazing view from a mountain top and breathing in the fresh pine; taking in the sights, smells, and the things you hear; closing your eyes and thanking God for making such a beautiful thing. But who am i kidding– you’re probably gonna take a selfie of yourself on top of the mountain and find the best angle and caption. Can you see why this could be a problem? If you aren’t in the moment, you can’t enjoy things to the fullest. Ask any older person to tell you a story and you will probably get an awesome tale full of detail, vivid memories, and descriptive words. But ask someone my age what they did today and they will shrug their shoulders, check their texts while saying to you “nothin’,” or “I dunno.” I’m not genius or anything but I see a correlation here.
When we aren’t in the moment, we aren’t very intentional. How can we have intentional relationships with people if we can’t even be with them without having our attention focused elsewhere? I want to be able to have intentional conversation with the people I care about, and I know all it takes is putting away my distractions and taking things one thing at a time. I wanted to test this theory to see if would really be as easy as it should be. I came upon the perfect opportunity a few weeks ago. My girlfriend and I were going to go to Olive Garden to celebrate our two year anniversary. I decided to do something that make people feel uncomfortable, or maybe even sick or lost. I left my phone at Kaitlyn’s house when I picked her up for dinner. I wanted to know if putting away my distractions would put me in the moment with my beautiful girlfriend and IT WORKED!! The first few minutes were a little weird. I kept reaching for my phone in my pocket but it wasn’t there. I could swear I almost felt it vibrate– creepy. Anyway, after the impulses to look at my phone went away, I started focusing on Kaitlyn and our dinner. I noticed how great she looked. Obviously, she’s a dime. I noticed that I was able to have meaningful conversation with her about, life, the future, and our weeks. I noticed how much food I was eating, which caused me to do something I never do and actually bring part of my meal home. Because I was in the moment, I can still remember the smells, Kaitlyn’s smile, the nice waitress, and the amazing desert. I realized that it was one of the best things I’ve ever felt and I didn’t even feel anxious about not having a way to communicate with the world.
Being in the moment is something that we need to get back in style so that everyone can experience deeper relationships with people, and with God. We should be more intentional about what we say and do and not do things without a purpose or half-heartedly.
Slow down, smell the coffee, and be in the moment.