Gilland: Time is flying by!

I remember hearing my Dad say, “Son, once you hit 30, the years seem to fly by…” I am not sure just how old I was when he said that, but I was probably 7 or 8, meaning my father about 35.

Of course, at the time, I couldn’t relate to that at all. My days seemed very long in that season of my life. And the wait for my school year to be over? An eternity.

And then, there was the never-ending anticipation for Christmas to come. Yeah, I couldn’t relate to my Dad’s thoughts about time flying by. Not one little bit, but that was then.

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Now, a most unusual thing is happening. On several occasions, I have heard young people make the same remarks that my Dad made all those years ago. And, they are saying this while they are young…very young!

A possible explanation is the sheer amount of visual stimulation that hits today’s young people on an hourly basis. No doubt, this can be downright overwhelming, though they are probably not aware of the impact that habit is bringing.

In today’s culture, there is just not enough time in a day to get in all the desired video streaming, social media, TV, movies, etc. A new common site is to see a group of people sitting in a restaurant, a church lobby, at the airport, or in the living room at Christmas, with each person’s head bowed as they are texting or looking at a phone or tablet. The end result are kids that are now saying what only adults once uttered. “Time is flying by…”

Parents should work to make sure that their children haven’t jumped on this slow train to exhaustion and recognize that all of these neat, time-saving and entertaining devices are bringing fatigue to the minds of their children. An added danger is that their impact can actually bring a new sense of isolation. And wherever there is isolation, loneliness is not far behind.

We must work to fight all of this, by encouraging our kids to have a good, old-fashioned hobby, doing something with others that they enjoy without the constant interruption of cell phones or tablets. Let’s be challenged to pray for them, and help them learn to relax, to read good books, to be able to enjoy their lives. The result will be a happier young adult, and a grateful parent.

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