Living Stones Series: First Published in All Around Old Bridge Publication – April 2023
By Pastor Lloyd Pulley
“What on earth is that stuff?” I inquired of a group of teens at a local mall as my wife and I walked along. With no response, they uneasily gazed at each other. Trying to ease the obvious tension, I answered for them, saying, “Is that some sort of slime you are handling?” With still no answer, I walked away, saying, “Ok, umm, have a nice day!” The whole “interaction” left me thinking about this generation’s inability to engage with strangers outside of some protective social media barrier.
The impact of social media on social skills and communication is a huge concern – we must learn the art of conversation beyond a social media platform! Studies suggest that young people who spend excessive amounts of time on social media may struggle with face-to-face interactions, have difficulty forming meaningful relationships, lessen academic performance, and increase feelings of anxiety, depression, loneliness, and low self-esteem. The soul longs for authentic connection, but online finds only the counterfeit version, leaving its user at a loss, disconnected, and empty.
But there is hope among those who are desperate to connect personally! A few weeks ago, Fox News reported on Bridgefest, our 18th Annual Christian festival in NJ (https://tinyurl.com/2p982we6). It would have been a simple religious article were it not for the national coverage given to what some are calling a spiritual revival of Christianity throughout the nation. The Chosen, a series depicting Jesus with His disciples, and The Jesus Revolution movie have broken records. Many prayer and worship meetings have sprung up in colleges and universities.
There is no real connection without God – but thanks be to God that He has given His Son Jesus, that we might have a real relationship through Him!