A main focus of mine coming into the program was being present here. I want to experience these 9 months for what they are and not feel the pressure to worry about what is to come in the future. I want to soak in all the new things. Oftentimes I struggle to stay grounded in the things I am experiencing because I get caught up worrying about my future plans. I knew this time would be an incredible opportunity for growth, so I wanted to really take advantage of that.

We discussed this idea at RoundTable the other night after we watched a Ted Talk on technology. The speaker spoke on the impact of our devices on our ability to be present. We are so busy staring down at our screens that we miss out on the most important things in our life like our relationships. It is so easy to become distracted in our world. We spend hours scrolling through social media looking for affirmation to distract ourselves from what’s really happening right in front of us. This causes us to miss out on spending quality time with the people that we love and distracts us from engaging in our relationship with our creator. It is now difficult for me to even spend 30 minutes in silence spending time with God. We have been conditioned to constantly feel the need to be busy and entertaining ourselves. It’s tough to simply be in the present.

This is something that I am struggling with and hope to take active steps to combat this year. I don’t want to miss out on the greatest things in my life that are going to bring me real fulfillment and joy. If one day we look back on our life and see all the time we threw away staring at our devices instead of being with the people we’re with, what would we think? I don’t want that to be the case for me because I know it wouldn’t look good. I want to spend time with God before I decide to pull out my phone. I want to take the time to be intentional and have good conversation. Something I am beginning to learn over the past couple of months is that if you want to write a good story, don’t miss out. Avoid distractions and don’t miss out on the opportunity to invest in people because you’re busy staring at your phone. This is easier said then done, but I hope to live this out moving forward.

Dan Gilgannon