Last year was the first year I’d chosen a Word for the Year instead of coming up with those restricting resolutions and goals. It seemed that choosing a word was much more fluid and opened itself up to many possibilities. My word for 2015 was Fearless (fear-less) and I tried to carry that word with me as circumstances and events tried to derail my sanity.
It was a good selection as we entered into a year of unknown results for Entrepreneur’s scans to determine whether the spots on his lungs were metastasized kidney cancer cells….or not. Fear gripped me at the end of 2014 with his diagnosis and subsequent surgery, and I needed to get a handle on my emotions and focus my energy in a more positive direction. Fear also prowled around other areas in my life last year. The funny thing about fear is that is begins as anxiety, grows into panic and then devours you with an overwhelming sense that the situation cannot be changed…which can shake the strongest foundations of faith.
But that didn’t happen. Learning how to fear less the situations over which I have little control resulted in more trust in the larger plan….a plan that may or may not be the one I would prefer to happen. It forced me to accept that sometimes the only thing I can control is my reaction to how events unfold. It also reminded me that even when things seem out of control, there is One who is always in control….and my trust needs to be in His sovereign reign in my life, regardless of the circumstances.
The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. ~Psalm 27:1-3
And now, it’s 2016 and I’m ready to choose another word on which to focus for the year. And that word is…..
No….not the gift-giving kind of present, but rather the kind that requires me to be present and involved. I chose this word because there are about, oh I’d say, a gazillion ways to not be present in today’s social-media-technology-addicted world. We can be physically present in any situation, but never completely, consciously engaged as long as our smartphones, tablets or computers are within arm’s reach. Just look at how far we’ve come in just a few short years:
And, just so you don’t think I’m pointing fingers, I include myself in this observation. I’ve increasingly been “multi-tasking”…or that’s the excuse I use….when I should be giving the people I’m with or task at hand 100% of my attention.Whether it’s social media, texting, Words with Friends or online surfing/shopping, those little devices are becoming just “vices” instead of tools to make life more efficient.
Our technology-savvy children are watching. Always watching. What sort of example are we setting when they hear the occasional “uh-huh” or “okay” to their questions as we never take our eyes off those hand-held screens? That is if it even registers that they are talking to us. We’re already seeing the results of being constantly plugged in with today’s teenagers and young adults. I wonder if any of them are capable of having a meaningful face-to-face conversation for more than about 5 seconds. Social media and technology connects us to an amazing number of people and places. Yet, it may be isolating us further because we are sacrificing being 100% present in moment.
I don’t want my grandbabykins to think my status on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest or any other flavor-of-the-day social media platform is more important than they are to me at any given point in time. And I certainly don’t want them to feel like I’m resentful of their presence….like they’re interrupting something vitally important. I don’t want the friend I’m having lunch with to think they are being slighted by my inability to put away my phone for an hour or so and actually enjoy their company. I don’t want people to think scrolling Facebook, trolling Pinterest or checking texts/email is in some way preferable to spending time with them in actual conversation…with [horrors] eye contact and everything.
I believe Albert had it correct when it comes to technology and human interaction.
So, Present my word for 2016. I want to experience wonderful moments being attentive and engaged. My grandbabykins won’t stay little for long and I don’t want to miss precious memories that tend to appear and disappear just as quickly. There is much more to life than 140 character status updates.
Linking up with Lisa Kerner over at Simply Living Photography and LTTL.