I have been contemplating how attached to my phone I have become. I rebelled and hung on to my dumb flip-phone for many years until I could no long receive texts from people. Those memes and emojis don’t come through on a dumb phone. It finally came to an end when people began sending me videos which, literally, locked up my little phone. I would have to take the battery out just to get it to revive. Once, my wife and I caved in a bought our first smartphones our connections options grew greatly. All of you who have smartphones know that there is a way to plugging to everything at any time. There is an app for everything! Sadly, I believe, our ultra-connected has made us the loneliest people ever. We can reach out and have conversations with ten people at once without ever leaving the bed. Research has proven that human beings are relational people and that the best relationships come from real connection. There has to be touch, and some form of tactile piece of relationships. I found it interesting that there is a website called National Day of Unplugging. There are even events you can host to “unplug” together. I love the idea! I think we all need to unplug much more than one day per year! We need to get outside! Meet people! Actually, have face to face conversations! Want to try it out? Here’s a great experiment! On Sunday morning, when the rest of your family is busy checking in with friends on their phones, quietly sneak out of the house and go to church! Crazy I know, right! The next weekend, get some one to sneak out with you! I guarantee, it will change your life.
This last Sunday we talked about forgiveness and how sometimes…we have no idea how to do it… Years ago, my wife and I had a restaurant; the Rose Room Chicken House Café & Antique Mall. Both my parents worked there and helped peel potatoes, wash dishes and run the cash register. The part of that business that stressed my mother most was the catering jobs. The evenings where we would cater parties, both in-house and out on-location were miserable for her. As for me, I loved those nights! She would say to me, “You don’t need to be doing those catering jobs” To which I would say, “I need those jobs to give us added cashflow to buy new equipment and the like. If we don’t do those jobs, what should be do?” Her response would always be, “Oh, I don’t know.” “You have no Idea what we should do?” “No. It’s your business, but you don’t need to be catering…” That was her “abyss.” It’s as if she could walk right up to the edge of her understanding but could go no farther. In that area of her mind was a great black hole and rightfully so. She had no life experience or training on which to base her thoughts. We all have our abysses! I know I do! Many times, I come to a crossroad and feel my abyss. I see in front of me that my choices are just…empty space. Forgiveness can bring a person to the edge of the abyss. Someone has “wronged” us and we see absolutely no way to forgive…Most of the time the only way to forgive is to actively fill in our abyss. The only thing that can fill that black pit is love, understanding, looking at the world or situation from the other side of the chasm and communication. Jesus gave his all to fill in that great chasm between us and God. He made himself a bridge for the world. If we can be forgiven…we have to learn to forgive. Mark 11: 22-25 (NIV) 22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”