Last week there was a very special and unique man who perfectly fulfilled his life’s purpose, and received his reward of heavenly paradise with his Jesus. Today, I want to tell you about this man and the final lesson he has to teach us.

His name was Brian. And although Brian was 44 years old, he was forever a 2 year old mentally. A very rare condition from birth gifted Brian with the awe and wonder of a perpetual toddler, which kept his world perfectly simple.

My grandson is 2. Every day with him is exciting because every flower is to be smelled, every bug examined, every puddle jumped in, and every waking moment to be lived. I often say I just want to pause time and keep him little forever. Brian’s family had little Brian for 44 years. Time seemingly paused and he was kept there his entire life. His greatest joys were Coca-Cola, icecream, car rides, and people.

You know, there was a time in your life when you found absolute undeniable joy in an icecream cone. There was a time when getting to ride in the car was exciting and thrilling. Now we complain when we HAVE to travel anywhere. All those colorful cars zooming by are now just dreaded traffic. And all those people who were once so fun to wave at are now people in our way as we try to rush on by.

Last week, Brian’s family was all gathered around his bed as his heart slowly gave out. He had fallen into a deep sleep that day and everyone knew the end of his earthly journey was near. The doctor and the pastor had come and everyone prayed together. His pulse was faint, almost non-existent. Then, with no one in the room left but family, there was nothing left but a little time to pass. So, they sat together and they waited.

What do we do when we wait? I mean really, what is it we do when we have time to pass and nothing to do? We get on our phones. We all do. Especially in a time like this when you’re hurting, you look for a little escape from reality, so you scroll. No judgment, I would do it too.

So, Brian’s family is gathered around, each with their phone in their hand, and suddenly he wakes up. He wakes up and says, “Goodbye, goodbye, done.” Remember he’s essentially the most precious 2 year old inside of a 44 year old body. These are the words of an innocent toddler who knows it’s time to go, and he’s ready.

He looked at his family, and he slowly reaches out and grabs their phones, putting each phone under his arm. Then he lets out the biggest, most precious belly laugh. With his heart slowly fading and his breathing so shallow, he uses the last of his energy to take their phones and laugh.

Then, he looked right past all of them, beyond the walls of the room where he lay, and his eyes were fixated on something unseen. His face was calm and his smile nothing but peace. And these were the final lessons of a special life lived in perpetual awe and wonder, as a little boy sitting at the feet of Jesus.

I’ve been thinking about this for the past week. I felt prompted to share it with you. I knew I needed to. But then, something happened yesterday that made it so clear I can’t wait another day. It’s time for this message now.

A friend shared the online obituary for a woman who also completed her earthly journey last week. A woman named Valerie who was only 39 years old, with a loving husband and 3 children still at home. She had written her own obituary in her final days. A message she wanted everyone to hear. A perspective gained while trying to savor her treasured final lap. Valerie’s obituary said, “Put your phone down, pause your work, and give your people a hug. Tell them how proud you are of them. Love all over them and invest in quality time with them. Go out regularly, see and experience things and sites with them. They need you.”

Okay, Valerie, we hear you.

No where in your Bible does it say “put your phone away”, but here we have 2 people who have given us their final messages this past week, and both are telling us that life is not found on our phones.

I really got to thinking about the lessons our Bible holds and what Jesus would say to us today as we go through our lives so distracted. We don’t have to look far, because Jesus actually did talk to a woman about being distracted. Now, let’s apply this to our lives today.

Luke 10, Jesus has gone to Martha’s house for a visit. Martha had a sister named Mary and Mary just sat with Jesus listening to him talk, leaving Martha to do all the work. Verse 40-42, “Martha was DISTRACTED by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.’ The Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.”

What has distracted you from really living in the moment where you are and who you’re with? Isn’t that usually your phone? Honestly, is your phone causing you to miss out on real life moments as they’re happening? I can just imagine sweet Brian and his deep belly laugh as he takes our phones today and tucks them under his arm. I can hear Valerie as she says, “put your phone down, pause your work.”

We are worried and upset by so many things, and we are missing the right choice that’s directly in front of us. The right choice here is to be here. Fully here. Live ALIVE. Present. Engaged. You will never get this back.

The Bible talks a lot about the love, obsession, and distraction of money. Imagine if the word “money” in your Bible is replaced with the word “phone”. Hebrews 13:5 says, “Keep your life free from the love of your phone. Be satisfied with what you have/where you are.” Yes, Lord, speak to me!!!!

Matthew 6:24, “You cannot serve both God and your phone.”

Imagine if the word “rich” in your bible were replaced with the word “popular”, because isn’t that the new currency? Fame, influence, likes, shares and comments? Here’s how 1 Timothy 6:9 would warn us, “But those who want to be popular fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction.” Verse 10, “For the love of our phone is the root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered way from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

We are literally piercing ourselves with so much grief as we wander off in our distractions. Watch your cravings, they will indicate the things that threaten to harm you.

Don’t you crave your phone? Don’t you find it almost irresistible to pick up. Irresistible to not check. As Jesus would say, “Martha, Martha, you’re missing the point of life here.”

I wonder what we would see if we looked up more today? In Brian’s final moments after taking everyone’s cell phones and tucking them under his arm, he looked up and fixated his eyes on the unseen. The veil between heaven and earth had grown very thin. He could see what we can’t see. He could see what has been there all along. Was he looking at Jesus? Was he fixated on the light that led to an eternal paradise with his Savior? Was he seeing the angels dance to welcome him in? Yes, I believe he was. What else could bring that kind of peace when you’re dying? Who else could bring that kind of joy when you’re hurting?

Look up, my friend. All around you is real life happening, and what’s happening is a limited time offer that will soon expire. What’s happening is the miraculous offer of God for your lifetime. Your phone has been distracting you. Hear the message loud and clear. Put it down. Tuck it away. Fight the temptation of distraction. Decide you love the life God has given you more than the entertainment your phone offers.

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