Afternoon, folks! Hope all is well. I want to return for a moment to the conversation from yesterday. The other topic I spoke of, was phones. In a recent conversation with a gentlemen, he mentioned the fact that he and his wife decided not to use Facebook anymore. He said they came to this decision when they realized they were often sitting side by side on the couch, not paying attention to each other, but rather both on their own Facebook accounts. Their evening was not spent talking and sharing with each other but texting and commenting on Facebook statuses and posts. Now, I will not say that there is nothing good about Facebook, but I will mention that I think this couple made a stellar decision. For no matter how nice the people you meet on social media are, and I know there are some kind ones out there, they are not real flesh and blood. The emotional connections you are making, or quality time you are spending with your “friends” on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, ect. are merely taking away from the real people in your own life: your spouse, your kids, your friends that live near you. When life really gets difficult, is it the brother or sister nearby that will comfort you, or the ones on Facebook, IG, or Pinterest? (I know some people are gonna gasp here, but getting lost in books for hours is not different … they aren’t real people, folks!) It should be the ones who live and breath in the same air that you do. How could it be otherwise? The people you “friend” on your phone have their own families and worries that they will and must take care of, that must take a priority over you. This is how it should be. You cannot expect them to put you in more importance than the people they see and interact with on a daily basis. That is like expecting the workers at Target to be more focused on serving you than a mom and pop store in the community you live in. Of course you are going to be more important to the mom and pop store. And this is where the conversation gets really uncomfortable (because it has not been up until now ;)). If you do not focus your time and energy on those real people right in front of your now, what do you think y’all’s relationship is going to be like twenty years from now? Do you really think they are going to all the sudden drop everything for you when you say you need them, when your “friends” have all found someone else to follow or text with, when you do not have the hottest pictures on Instagram anymore? No. They will not, and you will not have anyone to blame but the person in the mirror.
How can you have faith in what you have never heard of? You cannot. And though you can have faith in what is not real, it must certainly run its course and prove itself false in the end. Trust the words of God. Have faith in Him, even when it is desperately hard too. He will not let you down. And “share” God as often as you do the trendiest post online.
Make all the promises you want. Say all the right words. Even sound sincere when you say them. If you do not act on them it matters not and only proves you a liar. Better it is to not say anything. Do not make any promises. Just do. People will see by your actions that you are a man or woman of your word and they will not need anyone to tell them.
We want to think the best of those we know. We want to see them in the best light. We want there to be some excuse or reason when they do the things we know they should not. That is hope. That is ok. Hoping though without a plan is nothing more than wishful thinking. We can wish all we want that our fellow brothers and sisters would come to their senses, would see how much damage is being done to our country, and would abhor the destruction to life and liberty. But they may well not. To pass along a quote from one of the Marine Corps generals, ‘Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.’ This sounds very dramatic, but the point is to always have a plan folks for when the other guy is not as kind and moral and full of character as he ought to be.
I’ve tried to craft a place where morals still live, where good people still exist, and where you feel safe letting your kids and grandkids run around … well maybe not safe, but at least you feel good about them reading about kids running around in Countryside. 😉
Y’all have a fantastic end to your week! Put the phone down once in a while and sit and talk or just be next to the real people in your life. The images of your spouse smiling, your kids laughing, or your neighbor waving are the ones that will still be there when you are old and gray, not the one of the best decorated room, the latest book review, or the latest quip. Oh, and pray, spread the word, and find some Christmas lights to look at and let your heart smile. God bless you and yours and America!
— JT Cope IV