As I was walking to the bus stop from class this evening I passed a man and woman who were holding hands and obviously a couple. The thing I was struck by was the fact that each of them was listening to their own iPod and not communing or conversing with each other in any way.
Tonight in class we discussed the role of the reader of any text (literature, music, art, etc.) as someone who communes with the soul of the author. In this case, I would say that each of these people were communing with the soul of their respective musicians, while failing to commune with the soul of the one they gripped palms with.
I was instantly reminded of a meal I shared with my wife a few years back where we sat in Applebee’s and watched as five consecutive women walked into the restaurant with phones to their ears and proceeded to continue their phone conversations for the next 15 minutes. Why is it that we can’t simply “be with who we’re with”?
In the words of Rob Bell, we need to be “fully present” with who we are with. Both of these occurrences serve to remind me to fully engage the people around me when they are in my presence and I in theirs. Our culture has glorified the “art” of multi-tasking, but I think this “skill” has caused us to poorly handle all the situations and relationships we face. May we be people of intention, not neglecting any situation that God has provided for us.