The Young Adult Sunday school class at church has been using a study guide recently called "Hurried Families." Normally, I'm the teacher for the Junior High/High School class and would not have been part of that class; but, last Sunday, all my kids were helping with the pile-on luncheon that was going to served after the 10:50 service, so John Palacio invited me to sit in with the group.
I think the study looks to be an interesting and thought provoking look at how we have allowed all of our families, and our relationships, to be derailed by our modern lives. The study guide incorporates Biblical precepts of families into the study of modern issues, and I think the group is going to have a very good experience with their future classes.
Hurried families happen when we all get so wrapped up in doing everything that we want to do, forgetting what we need to be doing. From the time kids are old enough to walk, we have them in sports, playgroups, classes and activities. Often, the calendars with the children's activities are more full and loaded with overlapping appointments than the calendars of their parents. We congratulate ourselves on allowing the kids to be involved in so many things, forgetting that we are no longer spending any time together as a family.
When I was growing up, Daddy and Mama made us pick only a small number of activities that we really liked. Part of the reason was that we lived out in the country and only had one vehicle, so running back and forth to town really wasn't an option; but, the other reason was that we were part of the farm and took a very active role in helping out with the many chores.
Though it was a great deal of work, the many tasks on the farm required us to be together for long periods of time. We cleared new fields, built fence, moved irrigation pipe, hoed weeds in the fields, picked melons and canteloupes and drove tractors to get our work done. Back at the house, we had yard work, helped with dishes, folded laundry, snapped green beans, shucked corn and gathered the eggs.
We were always working; but, we were always doing it together. There were rarely vacations; but, we didn't really need those in order to spend time with our family. When we did go somewhere, always for only a brief time, we spent time together at family reunions, fishing, hunting or just visiting relatives.
It's not just busy schedules that make for hurried families. Sometimes, even when we're all together, we're not actually being with our families.
Modern homes have televisions in every room, speakers throughout the house, and wireless internet pulsing through the walls! We are always on our smart phones, our tablets, our desktop computers,,, all just to check email, look at weather and upload photos. When we have a family dinner, the television remains on, the phones are sending and receiving texts, and we replace conversation with constant interruptions.
I often long for the time when we didn't think that we had to be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If someone called and we were eating supper, we would either ignore it, or we would let the answering machine pick up the call. We also knew that if we were trying to call someone and they didn't answer, we could simply call back at another time. There was no need to email them, send a text, respond with an instant message, then try their landline or spouse's phone.
Our hurried lives allow us to do everything, go everywhere and be all that we ever wanted. They do not, however, enable us to truly connect, to truly share and to truly enjoy our lives with those that are most important in our lives.
Slow down and discover what you've been missing.
It’s all just my opinion.