Last night I went to see Rob Bell (with Peter Rollins) perform the “Holy Shift” tour. It was fabulous. I think I beamed joy the entire time. Was I star struck? No. (well maybe a little). But it was more than that. It was being able to hear the stories live. Seeing him and not listening to a podcast, while doing other things really. Immersed in the experience. No phones, no conversations, no distractions. Just sitting there listening to him talk.
So, it is Lent and one of the things that our priest suggested was to put down our phones and have a conversation. Become more engaging is how I took it. I started to reflect on this as I realized that I was totally in awe of listening to Rob Bell talk. This is what it is to be mindful, to be ‘in the moment’.
It was beautiful. To have an experience where you don’t care if someone is texting you or what your email says. And then it dawned on me that THIS is what our priest has been suggesting. Not to put down our phones, but to be in the moment. To live just a little bit more. To connect and engage. The guy in front of me was having a blast and every time he laughed it made me want to laugh more.
We have become a society obsessed by false connections. (Do you really know the people you are friends with on social media?) But to sit down with people without your phone or ipad or whatever and really ask them how their day was and sit back and listen, has become such a unique situation. What was once fundamental, many of us have lost.
So if you went to see Rob Bell last night, whatever your experience was, I hope you also had the awesome experience of being complete and whole in a room full of strangers.