Despite the long hours this mom-on-the-go spends in her vehicle, and the uneasy sense of my rear growing four times its size as a result from sitting so long every day, I do enjoy van-time with my kids. The daily detailed stories, questions and practical faith conversations are shared freely in the confines of our cushioned metal cage. But recently I notice, the boys are more quiet in our daily drives. I wonder if its due to their teenage testosterone or if they are doing more internal thinking. But no, with one glance over my shoulder I understand its those darn smart phones. The addictive games and texts are pulling them in to cyber play, drawing them away from life’s in-the-moment interactions.
Beside me in the passenger seat sits my fourteen year old son. He is nurturing his new smart phone. To my dismay, this has become a common scene. His conversation of late has been centered around his praises and concerns for his new treasure.
“How is your precious?” I asked in a friendly manner.
“I think you are going to make a great Daddy one day.” His face twisted in disgust as he looked at me curiously. “When you were a baby, your Dad and I loved holding you and patting you and talking to you and talking about you. We adored you.”
He was still wondering where I was going with this.
“You seem to be nurturing your own precious cell phone that way. If you take care of your own children like your precious phone, you will also be a great attentive Dad,” I say with a voice of encouragement.
He got it. Similar conversations have taken place over the course of his young lifetime. It has been our parenting intention to model the futility of loving things–how easy it is to place the temporal above our love for God and others.
I pulled the van slowly into the garage and gently added, “All things will pass away, my boy. Only God and people last forever. Love them more than your technology.”