I recently spent several hours in airports as Anna and I flew to Arkansas for a family wedding. I remember the first time I flew on an airplane as a 14 year old headed on my own to Washington DC. It was serious business to be on an airplane and everyone was acutely aware of those around them. It wasn’t uncommon to hear conversations all around you. Today – I’m not so sure.
As we waited in different airports, I could count the number of people on one hand who were NOT on the phone. Several had in ear pieces so it looked as if they were talking to an imaginary friend. Several continued conversations into the bathroom stalls – nothing would stop that conversation. The question kept popping up for me, though – what is THAT important that it can’t wait until you are home, at work, or simply can’t wait the 15 minutes until you get to your gate to wait for your next flight? Are we that indispensable that we much connect with someone at the end of the telephone line from the moment we get past security to the captains announcement to turn off electronic devices on the plane?
Even more, though – who and what are you missing by not engaging with those sitting right next to you? What opportunities will you never have again because your head is stuck to your earpiece?
As a Christ-follower, I firmly believe in God’s providence in putting me where I need to be when I need to be there. If, however, I don’t pay attention to those around me, what am I missing? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss today – the present moment – and in order to do that, sometimes I just have to put the phone down and let it go to voice mail.
May we all learn patience in waiting an extra 30 minutes – 1 hour to hear back our “pressing concerns’ with those on the other end of the line.