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The big brother keeps his eyes on the phone in his hands. His parents try not to give too much attention to his distraction. His little sister tries to make jokes and tell stories about her recital, hoping to get her big brother’s attention. He finally looks up from his phone, but his expression is exhausted and disappointed. “What happened?” His dad asks, trying to maintain a friendly and encouraging tone. The big brother shakes his head. “The guys didn’t like the video I made for our band. They haven’t been appreciating my effort recently.” His parents share a look, while his little sister places a hand on her brother’s arm. “But I like your videos. Maybe you should just focus on our celebration tonight and we can make our own video!” she says. He smiles at his little sister, remembering her victory tonight. “Right. We’re celebrating your victory and amazing dance. Maybe I’ll just keep my phone off for tonight and tomorrow. It’s weighing me down. Besides, I don’t want to miss a moment with you.” His sister and parents smile.

Parents. Your phone is a great companion, but it must not become a distraction from time with your family. Your laptop may be useful, but it should not replace the importance of your family. In this high-tech world, it is easy to get caught up in scrolling how other parents are doing or how other families are enjoying. Sometimes it’s challenging to balance both the demand of work and chores while also helping and attending to your family’s needs. But remember, there is nowhere on earth where you can find a family like yours. If you want to invest in their lives for a good and hope-filled future, then maybe it’s time to disconnect from the world to connect to His Word and time with them.

Students. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to keep hearing our generations branded as “always on their phone,” “not doing anything productive,” or “not being helpful and present because of their phone.” You were made with a purpose, and there is so much more in store for you. But if you want to live a purposeful and hope-filled life, then it is time to learn how to disconnect to connect. It’s hard, challenging, and a big struggle, but connecting to God and family is important, especially as you grow.

Disconnecting from the media world and your gadgets doesn’t have to mean not touching your phone for a week. Don’t pressure yourself into making big steps that may lead to disappointment in failure. Start small, and make room for pressure to help you rise above failure. You have a new day to start over. To mute the notifications, to only open that app if there’s an emergency conversation or announcement, to only post something encouraging or what makes you feel good, and to only play that game if it’s a much needed break (only you can honestly say when you need a good break). Above all, ask God to help you manage your time and make time for Him. He gave you twenty-four hours in a day, and a few minutes with Him won’t hurt. In fact, it may just help you become more mindful of your day rather than having your mind full.

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5 (ESV)



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