Why You Need to Look Up & Look Out
You wake up to your alarm and pick up your phone. You scroll through some social media and laugh at a funny tweet, compare yourself a little while you see the girl or family who has it all together from the looks of their Instagram, and then judge someone for their opinionated post on Facebook.
Next you roll out of bed and look in the mirror, wishing for a better face and a better body. You think about what the girl you saw on Instagram looked like and begin comparing yourself again.
You pour some cereal and milk in a bowl and whip out your phone again. You snap some people to keep your snapstreak alive, because golly gee, the world may end if the streak does too.
You hop in your car to head to work when someone texts you. It’s important, so you type out a response immediately as cars pass by you.
You get into work and notice the new guy you haven’t been introduced to yet coming towards you. You don’t want things to be awkward as you walk by, so you whip out your phone and look at it just to avoid eye contact.
At lunch time you go out with some friends from work, but all of you pull out your phones and begin to flip through the couple hours of social media you need to catch up on. You decide to post something yourself, but make sure all your friends think it’s okay to do so. You spend some time finding the right filter and thinking of the perfect caption. After posting, you look through Facebook and see the most perfect picture of a family on vacation in some beautiful country. You hop on Instagram to see how many people have liked your post. You’re discouraged when you see someone posted around the same time and has way more likes than you.
You come back after lunch and start feeling sorry for yourself. You think about all the people you know who are making more money and enjoying vacations and getaways. You think about the possessions of others - their homes, their cars, their clothes, their successes, their accomplishments. You begin to fear you are not enough.
You get home and you check how many likes you’ve gotten again. You’re disappointed when you see no one has commented or reacted the way you thought they would. You begin to doubt yourself a little… Why does no one really like what I have to say? Why does no one really like this picture? Why does no one really like me?
You can’t decide what to have for supper, so you pull out your phone and look to see what that cute Instagram woman is cooking. You grow envious of how perfect the meal looks and google meal ideas. You find step by step instructions and cook the meal your phone tells you. You make sure to snap it and send it to your story so everyone knows what you did.
You get done with supper and head to the couch. You’re ready to binge watch your favorite Netflix show. Your dog (or child or cat or whatever tickles your fancy) comes up to snuggle you while you sit on the couch, but with your phone in your hand to text and snap people in between scenes, it just gets annoying so you shove them away.
It’s time for bed so you brush your teeth and get ready… but you make sure your phone’s there to play some Spotify while you’re doing so. You hop in bed and scroll through social media once again. You check on your post and sink when you see someone else with a better picture and better caption pop up… and more followers and likes. You sigh and go to a podcast to listen to and distract you while you fall asleep.
Does any of this describe your life? Even just bits and pieces?
I think sometimes we forget to look up and look out. Instead, we are distracted ALL. THE. TIME. We put things in front of our faces constantly just to keep us busy. We want to consume our lives with things.
As a result, we are consumed with possessions, money, comparisons, likes, followers, and attention. We put our worth into material things. We always want to have the best. The best body, the best house, the best car, the best job, the best playlist, the best Instagram, etc. and we want it instantly.
But we have forgotten how to look up and look out. We have forgotten how to look up from our phones towards our Heavenly Father and look out to those around us. We have forgotten the purpose of our being.
And that is this: relationships. That means a relationship with Christ and healthy, beautiful relationships with each other.
Now I’m not talking about snapping them or DMing them or sending them funny tweets. I’m talking about sitting down and having a conversation. I’m talking about putting away all distractions. I’m talking about grabbing some coffee or going on walks. I’m talking about praying, digging into the Word. We can’t do that if we don’t make time for other people. If we don’t look up to Him and look out for one another.
Life is not about attaining worldly things. It’s not about proving ourselves to be the best. It’s not about gaining the world or trophies or prizes or accomplishments. It’s not about taking these wonderful tools God has given us and turning them into weapons. It’s about cultivating our relationship with Christ so that He can transform and show us who we are. It’s about cultivating relationships with each other.
Why is it so easy to pick up every time the world calls but so easy to put God on hold? Let’s decide not to do that anymore. Let’s put away our phones more. Let’s set aside those distractions. Let’s take time to simply be in His presence.
How about we spend less time scrolling and a little more time praying? How about we spend less time wishing and a little more time thanking? How about we spend less time comparing and a little more time loving?
Let’s sign off, look up & out, and start enjoying the little things. Let’s enjoy sunsets, flowers, bike rides, walks, the old couple holding hands, the smell of freshly cut grass, thank yous, hellos, the birds singing, the rain coming down on the roof, stargazing, putting peanut butter on the tops of animal crackers to make them look like they have hair… okay maybe that last one is just me.
Quit putting God on hold. Answer what HE has to say. Let Him show you what life is really about… He will surely do that if you would just look up & look out.