|Photo Credit: Max Straeten from morgueFile.com|
Last week, my 4-year-old had “Career Day” at her pre-school. In between all of the May activities going on around here, we were basically trying to decide what to wear the night before.
I asked her what she wanted to be when she grows up and she said either a doctor or a dentist. The only problem was that I really didn’t have an outfit on-hand for either one. I tried to talk her into being a princess of some sort because we have oodles of costumes for that. No such luck. (Hey, it was worth a try! Desperate measures…)
Then, my husband walked over and handed her a paper Blue
hat from our tour in Brenham last summer. He said, “How ‘bout you wear
this hat and be an ice cream maker?”
Sold! Blue Bell employee it is! Bell
She wore her hat proudly that next day and told me the class was especially excited that she brought some samples for taste-testing. Would a Blue Bell outfit be complete without an ice chest full of ice cream? Not hardly. hee hee!
I was thrilled that she made the most of it. Even though she didn’t get to be a doctor or dentist on Career Day, she enjoyed the precious, present moment of serving her classmates a creamy, cool dessert with a smile.
Oftentimes we easily forget to be in the present moment. We can find our minds wandering to the what if’s of tomorrow or the could-have-been’s of yesterday…the to-do lists for the week ahead or the should-have-done’s of the day before.
Distractions are many in today’s world. With calendars and organizers at our fingertips, we can still feel overwhelmed and incompetent. With countless people on our facebook friend list, we can still feel lonely. With limitless ways to communicate, we can still forget how to talk and listen.
There is a five-minute video circling the internet that is quite interesting and thought-provoking. In two weeks, it has gotten over 36 million views. I think it must have struck a chord, similar to this short video, with more than 42 million hits since last August. I encourage you to take a few moments now to watch them.
Even though I don’t have a smart phone (it’s fancy, just not so smart), I don’t always make the wisest choices with my computer time. Just the other day I was doing some facebooking and Sips-of-Sunshine-sharing when my daughter came into my room. She started rolling all over my floor singing a song from Frozen. It happened to be, “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?”
With my face toward the screen and my back toward her, she knocked on my bed’s footboard and in Disney fashion, belted out the verses, “Do you wanna build a snowman? Come on, let’s go and play. I never see you anymore. Come out the door. It's like you've gone away…Do you wanna build a snowman? Or ride our bikes around the halls? I think some company is overdue. I've started talking to the pictures on the walls. (Hang in there, Joan!) It gets a little lonely, all these empty rooms, just watching the hours tick by. (Tic-Tock, Tic-Tock, Tic-Tock)”
“Do you wanna build a snowman, Mom?”
Oh mercy. It hit me like a brick. Can anyone else relate to that strange feeling when you know deep down how addicting screen time can be? And that we just don’t like to admit it? I try to do most of my “computering” once the kiddos have gone to bed. But, isn’t it so easy to lose track of time when you want to check on just one. more. thing? My three minutes turns into thirty (plus) and what do I have to show for it? Lost time with the person right next to me? Or the pint-sized precious rolling around on the floor? Hmmm…
It’s fun to have iPhones and iPads and all the cool technology in between, but what’s most memorable is iContact with friends and loved ones. Technology is great for keeping in touch and isn’t bad per se, it’s what we sometimes do with it that can make us feel, strangely…isolated.
After watching the videos, I was challenged. I pray that I remember to look up and see the people that God has purposefully placed on my path in this one life that I have.
So, in the style of my favorite little Blue
employee, I’ll take
a double scoop please - one scoop of
undivided attention, one scoop of eye contact, and a generous sprinkling of
distraction-free time with the ones that I love. I also pray to remember: “While raising kids, the days are long, but
the years are short.” (Anonymous) Bell