Faith & Insight: Listen with your eyes

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I went to the Bay Area a couple of weeks ago. We took a BART train over to San Francisco. It was an adventure I had not had in more than 20 years. It was different, as you can imagine. No one talked to each other. People had smart phones and hardly even looked up from them.

I remember my daughter when she was a little girl and she would tell me something she had done that day. I would be watching the news or reading the paper, halfway paying attention. She would say, “Daddy, listen to me.” I’d assure her I was listening and she would say, “Listen with your eyes!” Looking back, I wish I had listened with my eyes more often.

Honestly, the news hasn’t changed that much over the years, but my children have all grown up so fast. With work and school and everything, I often feel like I missed a large portion of their lives.

James, the brother of Jesus, wrote, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

He wrote this about people planning out their future like they had control of tomorrow. We really don’t know what tomorrow will bring. We should be sure to focus on the important things today.

I wish I understood how fast life would move when I was younger. There’s not much we can do to change the past, and the future isn’t guaranteed to us. All we know we have is the present. But the present is (or at least should be) sufficient. We can focus on the important things today.

What truly matters in life is right now. How’s our relationship with the Lord? How are our relationships with family and loved ones? What can we do to heal broken relationships?

I think we should try to be better at living in the present for the present. We should “listen with our eyes.” Show our family, friends, all the people we come in contact with they’re more important than what’s on our smart phone.

I’m not against technology, but I think it would be a better world if we look up every now and then.

Captain Mark Cyr is pastor of The Salvation Army, 661 Colorado St. For information, go to


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