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  • Rebecca Behbehani

Are you really here?

I rarely watch commercials. With the invention of the DVR, I can pretty much avoid them all the time, with the exception of a televised sporting event. I won’t record sports. I’m not that invested in any sport or team to record it and watch it later. However, if a Cincinnati team is playing, we generally have it on in the house as a background noise. The other day I caught a commercial that at first made me chuckle but upon thinking about it, made me a little sad.

I can’t remember the company but it had two moms pushing their children on swings in winter (or at least they had cold weather clothing on). They were looking at another person’s Instagram stories and making comments on it. The person had posted themselves on beaches, by pools, showing off this “fabulous” life of travel and carefreeness. The two moms were commenting on why they couldn’t have that or why they had to be stuck in their current situation.

This is where it kind of made me sad because what it was projecting was that they weren’t happy being with their kids in that moment. Now don’t get me wrong, I think it is healthy for parents to get moments away from their children. I personally have had the opportunity this past year to go on two mini trips with my husband. It was both renewing for my marriage and as a parent. However, by the second day of both of the trips, I was ready to be back with my kids.

What I am saying is these two moms were wishing/longing to be away and missing the moment’s right in front of them. Instead of being in the moment, they were on their phones and wanting something they didn’t have. I am guilty of this. I miss moments with my children all the time. Whether it is because I think it more important to be cleaning or making dinner or checking my email, or simply because I think I’m just too tired. I miss the precious moments that I could be playing or paying attention to my kids. I miss moments in their age and stage that I won’t get back. It is so easy to be distracted by technology or our own desires that we miss moments in front of us. Our children, regardless of age, are crying out for personal connections- and not just from parents but from any faithful adult they can find and trust.

Our kids don’t need more stuff, they need more interaction from people that love them and are invested in their lives. Faith formation happens when we are present in body and mind with our kids and students. As a church, we can be transformative in the lives of the current and next generations if we go back to basic communication with each other. When we show up, are truly invested in development, have face to face conversations and stay present- we can build the Kingdom of disciples. We have something special in the church, and that is a weekly time to show up, to share our failures and triumphs, to be vulnerable with each other, to celebrate the highs, and walk alongside the low, and to learn and grow in faith through education. We have the message of hope and joy in Jesus Christ, and that is most vital thing we can share with others.

I am working on be present and less distracted. I pray that you will look around your life and see where you need to be more present, make more time for face to face interactions and how you can help share the joy of Jesus Christ with those you are with.

Grace and Peace-