Tuesday, July 16, 2013

St. Mark's Unplugged

What did we ever do without our cell phones?  I mean seriously.  Calling, texting, MP3 playing, surfing the Internet, GPS, video chatting, and playing games are all things that we can do at any time thanks to our cell phones.  We are able to interact at the touch of a button at anytime and anywhere. 

Youth specifically are horrible about having their cell phones out and instead of being in the moment with the people around them, they are involved with people on the other end of their cell phones.  It is quite distracting and disheartening when you are trying to build a relationship with them.  I noticed how bad it was a couple of years ago so I invoked the NO CELL PHONE ON TRIPS rule.

That's right, I am the tyrant that has said that youth are not allowed to have their cell phones on youth trips.  You know what?  No youth has come to bodily harm or their worlds collapse around them because of this rule.  In fact it has been amazing to watch our youth interact and their relationships grow with each other because of the rule.

Our youth themselves have stated how annoying it is to watch other youth use their cell phones and listen to music when we are at Pilgrimage.  I have even have youth thank me for not allowing them to bring their cell phones.

I really saw the difference in relationships last week on ASP.  The other groups had their cell phones out all the time.  They also had portable DVD players out and were watching movies in the hallway.  They were so disconnected from the experience.  They weren't in the moment and hanging out and building relationships.  Instead of being unplugged they were plugged in.  It was something that I noticed quite often throughout the week.

I am thankful that our youth for the most part live into the rule.  Yes we have youth slip up now and again but for the most part they don't allow them to take over their experiences.  They allow themselves the opportunity to be in the moment.

I challenge you and me to both be unplugged for a day.  I know that your cell phone might be the only phone you have, so don't use it for anything else besides phone calls and urgent text messages.  Let it be and see where the world takes you for the day.

 Let yourself be in the moment and see where God takes you! 

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