I love the TV show, “Little House on the Prairie”. I love the way people interacted in those times. Times were really hard, but everyone pitched in and helped one another. Your barn burned down…..everyone in town got together on a Saturday and built another one. People noticed when you didn’t come to church and they went to your house to check on you. If you lived in town you had a porch and you sat out on it on warm evenings and you waved at and talked to your neighbors who passed by. Everyone was friendly and caring.
People don’t sit out on their porches much anymore. On warm days, they stay inside with the air-conditioner. We don’t talk to our neighbors very much, we don’t even do much face-talk with our families. We email, we text…… We have isolated ourselves by jumping into our technology. People are forgetting how to relate to each other without some sort of technology as the middle-man.
This inward and isolated state of living is affecting our churches too. We don’t know how to connect with each other. We show up for church on Sunday, sit in the pew, listen to the pastor talk and stand up to sing a hymn or two and then……many of us don’t even stay to visit with one another. We go home and resume our isolated inward focused lives. When someone is missing from our congregation, it can be weeks before anyone notices. We pray for each other, we donate as we are able when there is a need, but we keep the situations and each other at arm’s length. Nothing reaches us, nothing touches us, we are insulated and isolated….and lonely.
We don’t know each other very well. We don’t know OURSELVES very well. We’ve got all the different social medias telling us what the news is, what to think and who we are and what is important – we’ve forgotten how to think and feel for ourselves.
This summer, I hope to return to a more ‘relationship building’ existence. We will be talking a lot about prayer and building a strong personal relationship with God. I also encourage you to look at other relationships in your life.
Spend more time with your family … and turn off the TV, the computers and the cell phones. Go on a picnic, go to the beach, go hiking together! Talk to each other! Spend time with friends around a bonfire, organize a neighborhood block party, put your rocking chair on the porch and go and sit out there. Read a book or better yet, WRITE one! Spend some time in meditative prayer, do some journaling, get to know yourself a little bit.
Take the ‘noise’ out of your life and listen to the birds and the squirrels and the children! Notice the smells of all the different flowers, the freshly cut grass and even the cows! Feel the warm breezes, touch the warm sand! Get reacquainted with the world and the people in your life. This could be an exciting adventure! Hope you will join me on it!