Technology is fabulous, until it replaces the “Personal Side of Life.”
Webster’s dictionary defines “Fellowship” as: a mutual sharing of an experience, activity or interest, companionship, a brotherhood / sisterhood.
I’m not talking about chit chat . . . “How have you been, how are the kids? blah blah blah? I mean good old fashion deep conversations, pee in your pants laughter . . . accountability, parents sharing with other parents, grandparents spending quality time with their grand kids. We all need human contact, eye ball to eye ball . . . to have those (I know what you mean, kind of conversations) where the longer you talk, the more you can relate, bond and get that A HA Moment. We all need that sense of belonging to something greater than ourselves.
The other day my friend Shelly wrote me a handwritten letter, something I honestly had not received in years. I’m used to seeing bills and junk mail, not a hand written letter penned personally to me. She put stickers on it, recalling funny moments and conversations we’ve had. It meant a lot. I sat on the couch reading and laughing as my kids kept asking . . . why are you laughing mom? Who is it? What is it?
I was on hold with our local bank, a while back and couldn’t get to a real person to save my life. Press 1 for this . . press 2 for that . . press 15 for customer service . . . but 15 wouldn’t work, so I pressed 0 and it would only repeat the recording. So I waited . . . and waited. 27 minutes into the annoying office music, I had to pee so bad I couldn’t wait. So I ran to the bathroom, and as I flushed, the recording said: I’m sorry – I do not understand this message. Goodbye!
Let me tell you, I saw STARS. Lord knows, at that point, if a human had answered, I would have burned their ears off. All this would have been resolved if a real person had answered the phone in the first place. We will always have the need for human contact, a real voice on the other line, telling us it’s gonna be ok, a pat on the back that we’re doing a good job, a hug, a smile, validation that all is well. My sister and I do this for each other all the time. I need her, she needs me and after a good conversation, the one who was “off track” is back on board again, whistling a toon.
With Facebook, twitter, email and all the technology we have today, I see less of my friends. And I take total responsibility. Before Facebook, I had an Annual Fall Party to catch up and see everyone. I have a core group of friends that met monthly for GRITS Night (Girl’s Raised in the South) that lasted hours. Now that I sort of know what is going on in their lives, I somehow felt released from making the effort to get together. And it has made me miss the girls in my life, the closeness, the laughter, the sharing, the . . . “everybody talks at once and we still heard what everyone said” kind of fellowship.
My father-in-law (Grandpa Jeff) is a happy guy. He’s loyal, friendly and laughs a lot. Now this didn’t come by happenstance. He’s surrounded himself with good friends that meet weekly. He has hunting buddies, fishing buddies and because of this, for him – life is happier and fuller.
When we don’t connect, we feel as if we’re alone. You’re not the only one with a teething baby who cries all day, but you may feel like it. You’re not the only one with a rebellious teenager going thru a crazy streak, a business situation that looks bleak, a sibling who never reaches out or a child with a medical diagnosis that looks grim. You’re not the only one dealing with job changes, divorce, piling bills, spouses going back to school or “Doing Life” on your own. But without fellowship, we isolate ourselves, and often times we feel as though we’re the only one.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 says There is nothing new under the sun. What has been, will be again, what has been done will be done again.
So pick up the phone, write a letter, email your core group of friends and plan a “girl’s / guy’s Night Out. Join a tennis team, a book club, a bible study, go fishing or golfing with a buddy. And to technology that keeps us away from “Doing Life with others” just say: Sorry, I don’t understand this message: Goodbye! Here’s to great relationships, life and laughter.
Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart is good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.