Friday, March 15, 2013
Mary and Martha in a techno savvy world
“Oh, I wish I were an Apple IPad……”
(sung to the tune of "I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Hot Dog."
So have you ever wished you were a computer or a cell phone? That’s a question that I probably better explain. And the explanation needs to begin with a word about myself. I’m not a techno-geek. I hate doing internet searches. Friends tell me that I just need to learn how to refine my searches, and that with practice, I’ll gain that skill. They also tell me coffee is an acquired taste, but if I just don’t like coffee, why would I want to bother to “acquire the taste?” I don’t like doing those searches. And I could care less what the latest techno-toy is, or whether my cell phone can take pictures or receive emails. So that gives you a bit of a notion of where I am coming from. Except I should add that I do realize the value these things can have. For instance, I recently learned through email from a friend in
that a college friend in Texas
just lost his dad, as she had found out on Facebook. So there are uses. Okay, so that is the intro that gets you on
the same page with me, so here is the story.
Was visiting with a friend the other day, and he was telling me about how much time his wife spends on her new iphone with internet social media and games and texting and…..well, you get the idea. I was reminded of that conversation yesterday when I walked by the grocery store to see a young woman sitting on the bench outside with her nose buried in her cell phone texting away at lightning speed. Sometimes, if you want to communicate with this kind of person, the only way to do so is by text, facebook, email, twitter, something. In fact, I have found with the teenage daughter in the house it is easier to get her to answer a text message than to answer the phone if I call…..even though the call would be much quicker!
My friend was struggling, it seemed, with the amount of time his wife spent on her gadgets, and he was concerned about other things that WEREN’T getting done, and, I suspect she wasn’t spending much time with him. Now I know that these gadgets isn’t all there is to it. Like any marriage, there are always issues that arise. But somehow, I almost got the feeling he wished he were a cell phone or computer, so that she’d pay as much attention to him as she does to that appliance. It is the same old story that wives have complained about for years concerning their husbands and football, or television, or their jobs. But, somehow my friend just seemed to be wishing it was him she was spending her time with and holding close, instead of that phone.
I have had moments like that with people in my life. AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY, I’ve probably created moments like that for them, as well! When a television show, a football game, a text message, or a facebook posting gets more attention than the family members around you whom you love, you are walking in dangerous territory. (In fact, if you are reading this and should be out with your kids, or off with your spouse, stop reading now and get over there!)
In Luke 10, there is the story of Mary and Martha, in which Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to him teach, while Martha is running around in the kitchen making sure there is a good meal as any decent hostess would do. And Jesus tells Martha that Mary has made a good choice. Or consider Mark 4’s parable of the Soils, where some of the soil represents people who hear God’s word, but get caught up with all the cares and concerns of living in this world. In both cases, the point is that there are things in this world that can easily distract us from what is really important, and what is really urgent. And as I watch technology advance, I think those things that distract are multiplying exponentially!
What IS important? Your relationship with God, and your relationship with your family and friends right there with you. Not that important things don’t happen through technology contacts, but, as I like to say, don’t merely have “virtual relationships,” make sure the “real relationships” with those around you are given the priority they deserve. Let me give you a quick example to close. We were at dinner with a friend the other night. My cell phone rang. I pulled it out, saw it was not my dad (who could call for emergencies), so silenced it and put it away. The call could be returned later, our friend who was with us needed my full attention then. Dad used say in business, “the customer standing in front of you is more important that the one on the phone who may come in later to buy something.” Don’t ever let the people you love wish they could be your computer (or tv, or football game or job), because you aren’t paying sufficient attention to them. The email, text message or blogpost will still be there when you get done spending time with the ones you love. Sorry to be so longwinded….but I think it is an important issue in today’s relationships.
TL:dr Healthy priorities means we don’t let technology or life trappings crowd out time with those we love.