I would assume that because you are reading this, you are looking down at your phone, laptop, iPad, iPad mini, or any other number of enslaving devices that have literally conquered every technologically advanced culture on the planet.
But that’s OK, because everyone’s doing it. According to one study, the average person checks their phone 110 times per day, and some folks check their screen every 6 seconds during peak hours!
If that’s not being iPhone imprisoned, I don’t know what is…but maybe I should look down and Google that fact just to make sure – right?
My friends, we be in some serious trouble here. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. If you haven’t already, check out the viral video, Look Up, that is finally and decisively calling out the electronic elephant in the room.
Of course, there are the “haters” who would deride Mr. Turk’s poetic abilities or mock him for taking an oversimplified moral high ground. But I, for one, have made a shift in my worldview from just a few simple lines from the video:
“So look up from your phone, shut down those displays,
we have a finite existence, a set number of days.
Why waste all our time getting caught in the net,
as when the end comes, nothing’s worse than regret.”
—from Look Up, by Gary Turk
In the video, regret took the form of a man who would have missed a chance to meet the love of his life, because he was looking down at his phone. Now I know that the chances of that happening to most people are slim, but I wonder if being absent during hundreds of chance interactions could add up to the same amount of regret as missing the *big one*?
In other words, bummer that the dude let his potential future bride go by while he was playing 2048 or whatever, but perhaps an even bigger bummer that we miss multiple chances to be present with the human beings around us while we still have a chance?
Trust me on this one…when you face your last days on this planet, you will not look back and regret the times you broke free from your electronic master and practiced being a human being.
Part of the reason I believe this is because of Jesus’ convicting words to his friends in a situation that could have involved smart phones (if they had them back then):
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42).
How awesome would it be to have lunch with Jesus – right? Martha and Mary have a fantastic opportunity here, but Martha was “distracted” and “worried” about many things. To be sure – there was stuff that needed to get done, but Martha took her eyes off what was truly important.
If Martha’d had a smart phone, I’m sure she would have been looking down at recipes, posting statuses like “Jesus is in the house!” or maybe even Tweeting “Guess who’s coming to dinner?” #TheMessiah.
But what was Mary was doing? She sat at Jesus’ feet… looking up!
Because she chose not to be distracted, she could truly look into the face of our Savior and authentically hear the words of love and encouragement that so often flowed from His lips. She could truly be “present” in the few moments she was granted with the Son of God, and that was something that could never be taken away from her.
Isn’t it about time that we “look up” to Jesus? When we fix our eyes on Him instead of our phone, we gain a true perspective on what is truly important in life. It starts with a restored relationship with our Father through faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection, then it grows into a true love for people and their eternal salvation in heaven.
So look up from your phone, shut down that display,
Your friends need to hear that Jesus is The Way!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
This week, keep track of how much you look down and decide whether or not you are enslaved by your technology. Or better yet, take a “technology fast” and use that time to be involved in THE Cause of Christ and help others learn to “look up” to Jesus!
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Jesus, please keep us from the idolatry of technology. Help us remember that only one thing is needed, and that is sitting at Your feet and pouring out our love.
Read: Hebrews 12:2. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Get: Reverse…Live Differently. This 21 day student devotional is a great way to look up from your screens and redirect your focus on God! Because reverse is all about living with a God-focus in a me-focused world. The way God designed us to live—in relationship with Him. Knowing Him and making Him known.
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Big Idea: Look Up is a powerful video that reminds us not only of our tendency to be enslaved by technology, but also the need to keep our relationship with Jesus the top priority.
Key Scripture:Luke 10:38-42
- How many times a day do you check your phone?
- Do you ever miss out on important interactions because you are looking down? How would you know?
- Have you ever done a “technology fast”? Would you ever be brave enough to try it?
- What are a few specific ways you can start looking up to Jesus?
- How can you apply this Soul Fuel to THE Cause?