A Beaver Moon rising, Canadian geese flying in formation overhead, an azure blue sky, colorful autumn leaves blanketing the earth. What do these have in common? All are evidence of a creative God, a God who provided beauty and wonderment as far as the eye can see. Do we take the creation, the beauty and wonder that surrounds us for granted?
Within our subdivision, there is a quarter-mile long walking path. Its sidewalk meanders past fragrant bushes, seasonal flowers, a pond, and at Christmas time, a holiday light display. In the spring and summer, children decorate the sidewalk with chalk art. Neighbors walk their dogs, mothers stroll their infants, children ride bicycles, and hoverboards, while others take turns on swings and slides. Some days it resembles a living Rockwell painting except for the cell phones firmly grasped in the hands of most on the walking path. Humans are inexplicably drawn to their cell phones like moths to a flame.
On the one hand, I am glad people are out and about, breathing in the fresh air, basking in the warmth of the sun, and on the other, I am baffled by the number of people with their eyes locked onto a small screen oblivious to their surroundings. Mothers pushing baby strollers, eyes glued to their cell phones, people riding their bicycles or hoverboards without taking note of others in their path. What could possibly be so interesting? I won’t pretend I haven’t engaged in phone conversations while walking along the path; talking on the phone is different from others mesmerized by images on a screen. At least while talking I am aware of my surroundings.
At the risk of sounding like I am firmly entrenched in the golden years, back in the day people looked others in the eye when passing one another. Mothers pointed out ducks, and birds, squirrels and trees to their babies as they strolled through the park. Children furiously pumped their legs to see who could swing the highest, people rode bicycles and actually watched where they were going. The good old days.
Maybe I am a relic, but I am concerned about future generations. As a whole, our senses are dulled, lulled to sleep by the machinations of the cyber-world. Sure, I get it, we need technology. Technology has afforded us the ability to cure diseases, travel into space and around the world, save people’s lives who otherwise would have died far too young, but at what cost?
Balance, we need balance. Balance is important. Tipping the scales too far one way or the other robs us of essential interactions and experiences needed for growth. Yes, the internet opens up the world for us. There is nothing we cannot research and learn. At the same time, we need to watch our children happily interacting with others on the playground equipment and point out the ducks and squirrels along the way. We need balance between the three-dimensional world and the one or two-dimensional world. We need to tip our hats, nod our heads, or speak words of acknowledgment to those who enter our orbit. When was the last time you were captivated by the simplicity and complexity of nature…..?