Sunday, January 27, 2013

Resolved To Be Resolute

The head pastor of our church started out his first sermon of the New Year with the famous quote, "Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future."  I had to laugh.  It is true that we don't know what the future will bring.  After all, there have been three "once in a hundred year storms" in New Jersey in the past 18 months. 

There are some things about the future that we cannot control, like the weather.  There are some things that we can, however, and hence the power of New Year's resolutions.  They give us an opportunity at the beginning of the year to take inventory, set new goals, and take steps toward greater fulfillment.  For some that fulfillment can be garnered through outward public service; for some it is garnered through changes inside our own walls.

I have remarked to my husband that one of my New Year's resolutions should be to cut down on smartphone and computer usage throughout the day.  I have noticed that my smartphone creeps to the table when my older son is lagging in finishing his meals.  It is so enticing to sneak a quick text before wiping a nose or fixing the next meal.  And I am admittedly addicted to checking email when given the chance.

(Photo: Gary Houlder, Taxi Photo)
This technology does add something to our lives.  Being a stay at home mom can be isolating.  The advent of communication allows us to share resources, check in, FaceTime chat with far away relatives, and change the play date spot last minute if it gets too muddy.  But to the extent that it is distracting us from giving quality attention to our children, it is time to rethink it.

Technology can distract us, and it can also ironically be isolating.  Social interactions that are abbreviated or rushed often end with an unintended effect.  There are some who dislike the written word because of the lack of control one has over its reception; you can email or text one thing, and a different message can be interpreted by the receiver.  Thus, something that was meant to bring people together can be misread leaving the recipient questioning and frustrated.

So it's not just quality time that is at stake with our children; it is also quality time that is at stake with each other as moms.  No technology can replace the face to face chat.  It is a good idea to assess technology's function in our lives going into the New Year.  We can be resolute in limiting it's usage to the extent that it's not enriching our lives and dear relationships. 

Prayer:  Dear God, Thank you for the ability to connect with friends and family.  Help me to put my technology at your feet, so that I am controlling it instead of it dictating the terms.  Drive me toward fulfilling interactions with those I love.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

"My child, do not let these escape from your sight: keep sound wisdom and prudence, and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck" (Proverbs 3:21-22, NRSV).


  1. Great use of alliteration! =) And a great reminder of the importance of face-to-face time. I'm working to limit my on-line time checking email, reading blogs, tweeting etc. by checking in only BRIEFLY in morning. in mid-afternoon, and in the evening.

  2. Sounds like a great goal, Laura! It is hard to limit as it can become like an addiction for me, especially since I recently launched into the blogosphere!


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