I was at a Lumineers gig in Alexandra Palace recently and something happened that I haven’t seen before. If you’ve been to a gig recently you will know that your main view of the band tends to be through the dozens of mobile phone screens that are being held up, filming and taking pictures, in your sightline. I go through phases of finding this quite an interesting and amusing view, but equal amounts of phases of finding it annoying.
At this particular gig however, during their most famous song, the Lumineers’ lead singer stopped part way through and asked the crowd to put their mobile phones down and be with them in the moment. The majority of the crowd complied, the band re-started, and finally we all had a clear sightline between us and the stage and could feel truly engaged in the performance. It was brilliant!
This experience tapped into something I’ve been wondering for a while; are we losing our ability to be in the moment?
How many conversations have you had with people where one of you is checking or updating their facebook/twitter/instagram while talking. I know I for one am awful at doing that – instagram is my main weakness. This is certainly the age of multitasking! One thing at a time just doesn’t satisfy the way it used to. We like to maximise our time so we can accomplish many tasks simultaneously.
Christian talks and sermons seem to be erring towards becoming a series of ‘tweetable’ sound bites strung together. The listeners are partly concentrating on listening, partly concentrating on what they’re going to tweet, and which catchy hash tag to use (my personal bugbear is #Ilovemychurch). It’s great to share what we’re experiencing, but I wonder if doing so detracts from the experience itself. I don’t remember the last event I went to where I put my phone/laptop away and just focussed on savouring the moment I was in – being only in this one place at this one time.
Jesus was one who was always in the moment. He never looked over someone’s shoulder to see who else was about. When he was with someone, he was truly with them.
As Christians, it is important to be reflective about the person we are and to challenge ourselves to make positive changes in our lives and character. Maybe allowing ourselves to be in the moment - in both what we do and who we're with - would be a good challenge to give yourself today to help you be more like Jesus.