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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.

Teachers. Having classes online may just lead to more temptation to stay online, in case you miss something. I can’t tell you to stop touching your phones or laptops, watching those k-dramas, or finishing that Netflix series. But I will ask that you manage your time and include purposeful breaks. Your life is impactful and influential to students, parents, and your colleagues. What you spend your time on fills your minds and hearts, and flows out of you. If I were to ask you what the first thing is on your mind right now, what would you say? Would it be worries and concerns from within your own mind? Would it be the latest news of the pandemic or heart-breaking news? Would it be the latest story of the k-dramas that have ended or started? Whatever it is, I would like to challenge you to make time to disconnect from the world to connect to His Word.

I believe that being in the field of education brings many opportunities to plant seeds for the future, and shape children’s lives for the better. I don’t know why you came to PISD or what your struggles are, but I do know that there is more in store for you. Maybe disconnecting from the feed of fear, fashion, fame, and fortune will lead you to connect to the Word of He who strengthens your faith, and focus, and holds your future. Sometimes keeping our eyes too fixated on the screens keeps us from looking up and finding hope. God wants to help you get through, overcome, and thrive, but you also have to show up willing and available. Let your purposeful breaks and time off from the world lead you to He who helps you become mindful of your day and purpose, rather than keeping your mind full of other things.

“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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