I get parking tickets occasionally. I get them for just about one reason and that reason is relationship trumps everything. If I’m in a coffee shop meeting with someone, I might have the thought to go check my meter, but I don’t because I’m fully engaged in the conversation.
I have a hard time pulling away when something is getting good. Today I was having coffee with a new friend. We were sharing our stories, laughing, connecting the dots, seeing where our paths have crossed before and we didn’t know it, we got teary, we shared our passions and and listened to where God might be at work in the midst of our stories.
I suggested we go for a walk so I could check my meter, knowing I was very close to the meter being expired. As I approached my car, I began to celebrate… until I saw it, the little yellow envelop with a fine attached. I was once again in the throws of a conversation that I didn’t want to leave, only to be met with a fee.
Now although that practice is not fiscally responsible, nor does it happen as much as it used to now that I live downtown. I like that part of me. I like that when I’m with a person, I generally make it my aim to be fully with them.
In a lot of relationships we give half of ourselves. We hold on to our phones, we look around for someone else, we have other things on our minds and we do not engage the person in front of us as though they were the most important thing at that moment.
I’ve started leaving my phone on silent in my purse or in my car when I meet with someone. There are times I leave home with out it. Although that practice may frustrate the caller, it speaks to the person with whom I’m meeting. There is nothing worse than having a good conversation only to be constantly interrupted by the other person’s awareness of their phone, sending a message there is someone more important than you to whom I need to give my attention.
I wonder how many people go away from time with friends feeling rejected or secondary because of a cell phone, computer, TV, or other distraction.
It is important to have our actions match our words in our relationships. When we ask someone to get together, we should actually show up and not simply be present in body, but also in mind and spirit. Relationships will cost something. Occasionally, a relationship will cost me parking ticket or a friend trying to reach me and can’t immediately. Relationships may cost us our perfect schedule, our idea, our plan, our convenience, our smooth sailing or just simply our connectivity to the world at large. But when we choose to give up something, to engage more fully, we are giving one of the greatest gifts. We are giving ourselves
What do you think? Should people leave all technology at home?