Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Put Down Your Device During Lent And Live In The Moment

Megan Erbacher

I’m guilty of it, too; I’ll admit that right now before any accusations get hurled at me: I spend more time on my phone than I should.

Technology – we are so attached to our phone, tablet and any other electronic device we may own.

I’ve been out to dinner and, whether it’s someone in my party or elsewhere in the restaurant, often I’ll look around and a few people at each table aren’t even listening to the conversation. Their phone is in front of their face and they’re scrolling.

They’re catching up on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or Pinterest. The list goes on.

I feel like many of us respond too quickly to things in life that may require more thought because the device in front of us is such a distraction.

Again, I am guilty of it sometimes, too. Honestly, I’d like to be less dependent on my phone. And yes, this is a problem with our society that’s discussed more times than I can count.

But I feel, like most things in life, technology is best in moderation.

So, maybe we can all work on it this Lenten Season. Maybe we can all strive to be better at living in the moment. Enjoy the people around you more. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow — a reality I was recently reminded of when a friend lost her mother way too young — we never know when today may be our last.

Even if you’ve already decided what you want to give up or add to your life for Lent, it’s not too late to incorporate spending a little less time with technology.

Let’s do away with all the mindless scrolling.

Slow down.

Enjoy distraction-free activities.

Appreciate the scenery God gave us.

Don’t get me wrong — technology can be a wonderful thing to have at our disposal. I’m currently using a laptop while lounging in a recliner to write this column. Plus, having Google at our fingertips to fact-check has to make writing research papers ten times easier for kids than it was when I was younger.

But I want more for kids, especially my niece, Jude, who recently turned six-months-old.

I want my sweet goddaughter to have the memories I do from a childhood spent playing outside until the sun fades away and your mom yells at you to come home, riding bikes to friends’ houses, exploring corn fields (sorry for any unintended damage, farmers), playing Power Rangers on a backyard playground with neighborhood friends, and finding the best tree to climb in the yard.

How sad is it so many of us don’t even know our neighbors now?

Let’s all vow to put down our devices more this Lent and live in the moment with family and friends.

Let’s rediscover the wonderful world God gave us.

Let’s remember the beauty of watching a sunrise, or sitting outside after mowing the lawn with the smell of fresh-cut grass wafting through the air. And don’t forget the magical view of a sunset after a long day.

Oh, and let’s say hi to our neighbor when we see them in their driveway, because we never know when today may be our last.