This past Sunday I was with my oldest daughter driving home from lunch when we got into a discussion about different types of neighborhoods. Really, my daughter was talking about the “ghetto” areas of Canal Winchester to which I informed her we don’t exactly have “ghettos” in Canal Winchester. Either way, in spurred a conversation about our community. So as we drove down Brice Road I began to point our various things. Here’s a rough list of things I pointed out:
- Two strip clubs and one adult store
- A handful of empty store fronts
- A burned out apartment building
- A few “mom and pop” businesses
- Overgrown lots and lots for sale
- High density housing versus single family homes
- Cash loans for car titles
My point in all of this was to help her see the signs of change taking place. Even though we’ve driven Brice Road many times she was shocked as what she saw, which spurred a new conversation. Why do people go to strip clubs and why do women work there? Why do people need cash loans and why would they use their car as collateral? Although there aren’t perfect answers we did discuss cycles of poverty and what this means for our community. More importantly I had the chance to explain why we’ve chosen to stick around even though our community is changing.
The signs of the times aren’t just in empty buildings. I saw this advertisement come across one of the online magazines I read and wanted to share it with you.
The signs of the times are all around us. This isn’t an alarmist call to go back to an era where things were different or “better” than they are now. Instead, it’s a call for us to wake up a bit and look around. To see the empty store fronts and the strip clubs, to see our kids spending hours a day in front of a screen, and to see what’s missing in all of this.
Maybe it’s time that we learn not to just consume (after all we are what we eat) but to be critics. Like watching a movie and asking vital questions about the message it sends or thinking through what the cost of missing a day of worship might be.
I happen to think what’s missing is a connection to things that are real – like people, like Jesus.
So when was the last time your family prayed together? When was the last time you just took a walk in the woods without your phone? When was the last time you were able to have a conversation with another person without checking your phone? What kind of affect do you think our media consumption has on our kids?
I want to challenge you this week to pay attention to the signs around you, spend some time with others and with God, and reconnect to people, not apps.