Last Tuesday afternoon we headed out-of-town for a short vacation. We were not going but six hours to the big city of Atlanta. We had everything packed and ready to go and then at the last-minute I asked my wife if she had the camera. She had not carried it out of the house so I ran back in and grabbed it along with other last-minute things I forgot. I thought she would want to take some photographs and wanted to remember to give her the opportunity. Much to my surprise, it did not work out that way.
The camera sat in the backseat floorboard the entire time we were gone. Rather than constantly worrying about capturing the entire trip with a camera, we only grabbed a couple of shots with our smartphones. I am sure the feeling will change when we have children, but for right now it was a very freeing experience. Rather than constantly battling the camera, we were able to enjoy the experience together instead of constantly trying to figure out what to capture next.
Often times I have been criticized for not taking photos, but when I was a teen I felt the same way. I visited Manhattan and Atlanta as a teen, but I did not bring back many photos because I was too busy enjoying the experience and culture with those around me. I often think we are far too caught up in trying to view life through a camera lens than trying to engage it.
Case in point was made Saturday evening of our trip. We met up with a friend who lives in Charlotte to attend an evening service at his church. He attends Elevation Church, which is an amazing church that is doing great things in and around the city of Charlotte. Anyway, we attended the Blakeney campus which is where the pastor, Steven Furtick, speaks from and it is also where any guest worship leaders lead from. This past weekend Israel Houghton was in as a guest leader. It was a wonderful service and Tony Nolan was even in the crowd. What I was most shocked by was that despite the stage being less than fifty feet in front of me and I could hear the message without a microphone, people still chose to view the entire service through the eyes of a camera. Rather than looking forward towards the stage most people angled their head at one of the projection screens on the sides of the stage. However hard it was to stay focused, I also found myself wanting to drift into seeing life through a lens.
It was wonderful to spend the last week avoiding most social media and almost the Internet entirely. We took very few photos and engaged in many deep conversations. It was nice to view life for what it actually was and not constantly looking at it through a lens of a camera or the display of my phone.
Do you find yourself viewing life through a lens? Have you ever tried to give it up for just a little bit? How will the constant viewing of life through a lens affect the generations to come after us?