Monday, June 21, 2010

Kite Flying

Hello, blogger friends. My name is Amanda Carter. Just thought we ought to reintroduce ourselves. I've been on vacation and school has been out for BOTH of the girls, so time has become a little more scarce while albeit fun these past few weeks.

Ok, I'm done making excuses about why I haven't blogged in so long.

I recently went to the beach. While I could write oodles of blogs about such a wonderful, fun, relaxing, perfect...I, there was one "moment" on the beach that made a lasting impact on me. I flew a kite. Well, technically my Dad got it in the air, but I held the string for a long time! I think it had been well over 15 years - maybe 20 - since I had flown a kite. Granted, kite flying does not produce thrills of excitement or riveting entertainment, but kites do seem to intrigue people. Every beach walker that passed spent an incredible amount of time looking up at the kite swaying and gently diving in the wind. I stood there thinking, "What's the big deal? Haven't you seen a kite before?" Then I realized, probably, like me, it had been a long time. We're so techy these days and techy living has created a culture of "down lookers". We look down at computer screens and phones and watches and floors (because eye contact is WAY too much interpersonal interaction).

That day on the beach, lots of "down lookers" became "up lookers". Watch out, I just pulled my soap box out! I want to propose that we've lost something - taken steps back as human beings with the invention of techy toys even though we claim these inventions as "progress".

Here's what I think we've lost. When my grandparents got together with other couples they played cards and board games or worked puzzles. Now often when we gather with other couples we play Wii and maybe an occassional board game, but it's often fast paced and full of timers. I'm speaking to myself when I say that we've lost appreciation for slower relationship and entertainment. Families no longer gather around radios to all listen to the same show or talk over a card game. Truthfully, we often end up in separate rooms being individually entertained with TV or texting or video games. Why don't people read aloud to each other anymore? Why do people feel so efficient and yet so stinkin' lonely? I offer that it's because despite the efficiency, they somehow still have no time for real relationship.

I'm not suggesting we all give up technology. I need to confess that I'm getting an iPhone this week for the first time so I may be plunging even deeper into this techy trap! I'm also blogging right now. The reality of blogging is that I am crafting a conversation with you through my keyboard and on my own. What I'm offering is that we remember to do the slower things like read aloud to each other, really talk to each other face to face not just through tweets and status updates. The fact that we call social interaction "tweeting" just sounds ridiculous if you think about it long enough and "status updates" sound like official press releases of our lives. There's a lack of warmth and home and dare I say...genuine relationship.

As I flew that kite I felt so relaxed (the waves crashing beside me helped a good bit!). As I watched other people stop and stare at the kite, I marveled at how such a simple thing could hold the attention of so many for as long as it did. In a world of "down lookers" what if we were like the kite swaying and diving in the wind - the Holy Spirit kind of wind? What if our mere existence made people look up and enjoy and marvel at what God can do with a normal, simple person? Lots of questions today.

What did you expect? I had a LOT of free time to think on the beach...stay tuned.