How Busy Is Too Busy

Technology has made it hard to put home and family first.

Ted Lowe
Aug 19, 2018    38m
This sermon looks at how today's world of technology and instant access to work, news, and social media can affect our home and family. There are so many external pressures about what we "should" do. This is leading to a culture of trying to do everything, but at the cost of being with the ones we love. He said it is up to us to take back our own lives and just be with our families by unplugging some of the time. He points to a passage in the Book of Luke, Luke 10:38-42, that can be applied to our busy lives today. It is a reminder that sometimes just being present is so much more important than doing. Video recorded at Chandler, Arizona.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Ted Lowe: 00:29 [Introductory video plays]. Well, there you go. That's the exact same title package they would show when I was, when I was a teenager. Yeah, that was a good one. Hey, once again, my name is Ted Lowe. I'm so excited to be with you guys. I've been working with married couples and families for the last 17 years. My wife Nancy and I have been married for 23 years. We have three teenagers, and Lord we pray for myself. Yeah. How many parents of teenagers in here? Yeah. I told my wife, I said you know what? Having teenagers is like running a free hotel where people are always griping about the service. Yeah. That's how that works, right? Yeah. We're excited to be with you guys and this Thursday too for date night, so make sure you guys hang out with us. It's going to be a really, really good time.

Ted Lowe: 01:15 Hey, today we are going to focus on marriage. We're also going to focus on family and just all of our close relationships. And the thing we want to wrestle with a little bit is this whole idea of time, how we spend it, how we use it, how it works. In the 1960's technology had just started to take off. In fact, the leaders in the technology industry actually came to the government as a team and they said, you should know this thing's about to go in a direction you can't believe. It's about to snowball. It's going to change everything. It's gonna change how we work. It's going to change how we do life at home. It's going to change everything. So they said, all right, then how is it going to change everything?

Ted Lowe: 01:54 They came back and they said, this is it. They said that technology was going to give us back so much time at home and so much time at work that our biggest dilemma of our day was going to be (in the 1980's) what do we do with all the excess time? That was going to be, they said it was going to be known as the leisure period.

Ted Lowe: 02:20 In other words, we're going to have all the time in the world to watch Miami Vice. Yeah. I just love it that these two are the ones that we're going after like drug lords in Miami. I'm thinking if I'm a drug lord, I'm walking up to go, hey, [unintelligible] shirt boy, in your little saddle. Get on out of here. Right? We're going to have all the time grow out our mullets. Yes, and all you ladies can just build the hair. That's right. That's my sister. No, it'd be funny if it was though, wouldn't it? Yeah. We thought we were going to have all this time to just be. Wasn't it gonna be great? And isn't that the thing we say we want, right? Oh, wouldn't you just love it if we had Saturday off? Wouldn't you just love it if we weren't so crazy, but what happened? They did get it right in terms of technology given us back time.

Ted Lowe: 03:12 I mean, think about it. You can send a message clear across the world in a second. You can heat up your meal in a minute. I mean, technology really has given us back a whole lot of time, but there seems to be something in us that when there's a space we tend to plug into more and more things. Now, Linn said if I was going to speak here, that he's going to make me use props. Is that kind of how it works here? Okay. Alright. I said, okay, I'll use some props. But it turns out that we were not only not going to have time and we're not gonna be wondering what to do with it, we were going to plug in more than ever that we're going to do more and more and more. Especially when it comes to areas like work.

Ted Lowe: 03:54 Now we're actually working six hours more now than they did in 1965. So not only did we fill up the time that technology gave us back, we did six more hours’ worth of work. We work more than medieval peasants. I have no idea what that means, but I just love that stat. They could have been the laziest people on Earth, I dunno. Yeah, but we fill it in. Why don't we have time to just be?

Ted Lowe: 04:26 Well, there's all the work. There's chaos and then how many parents do we have in here? How many of you have rug rats? Yeah. Here's the thing. They're busier than ever. There's so many options. I mean, there's lots of options for adults. I mean you guys are surrounded by all these places to shop and buy things. We're the same way. Shop and buy and do things and your kids have all these great opportunities to be in all these different things, and there seems to be even more pressure for us parents now to make sure our kids are starting earlier and earlier and earlier.

Ted Lowe: 04:53 I kind of had a moment when our kids were younger. I was sitting in a cold church gym, and we were doing this every Saturday morning. And we were getting there at 8:00 in the morning for a six year old basketball league. I'm not sure that's really a thing, because I don't know what they were doing, but it wasn't basketball. But I would go. We'd show up every week, every week to watch my boy play on the Mighty Geckos. When you start them that young, you've got to start the animals off real small. Right? What is a Gecko going to do, lick somebody to death? But he didn't care. He was playing for the Geckos and I just remember sitting there going, this is kind of crazy. We could be home just hanging out. We could be eating pancakes right now. We could sleep in a little bit. That'd be great. But no, we're, we're here. This is what you do. You sign them up. I mean, don't get me wrong. I was in a basketball league when I was six. It was called my brother. Yeah, but we feel this pressure don't we parents? We feel like we've got to sign them up. We've got to sign them up.

Ted Lowe: 05:57 Here's the question. Nobody ever goes, why? We just do it. Right? We just do it because that's what people are doing. And then how else do we fill our time that technology gave us back? We use technology. Right? We use this thing. You know, I gotta imagine if somebody from a country that doesn't have this, which I know there's fewer, fewer countries that don't. Can you imagine if they came over and then it came back and reported? Yeah, everybody had these little boxes and they were walking around with their little boxes all the time and they had laws to not drive these torpedoes because of the boxes.

Ted Lowe: 06:34 The boxes were distracting to them, and they'd be sitting there at meals with each other, but they weren't looking at each other. They were looking at the boxes or the bigger box that's over their head in the restaurant that we are filling our time. We don't ever have to be bored ever again. I heard one of my teenagers knocking on the door with his brother going "Open up. I know you're not in there using the bathroom. I know you're playing candy crush with your clothes down to the bottom of your ankles."

Ted Lowe: 06:55 He knew. He knew because we don't have to be bored even in the bathroom anymore. We don't ever have to wonder anything. Do any of you remember when you just, you got to wonder? Like if you ask a question, sometimes there wasn't an answer. Like back in the day, where's our millennials? Where are we? Let me tell you a scary tale used to. You'd want to know something and you'd say, who won the world series? Guess what? We didn't have a box to tell us. Right? We didn't have a box. You just had to wonder, and where were you going to get that information? Where would you go? It's not at the library, right? You just had to wonder. Here's another thing that's going to blow your mind. The people used to leave their house and no one could get in touch with them, and no one died. It was a miracle. Right?

Ted Lowe: 08:01 You drop your kids off at the babysitter's or the grandparents, and you'd be gone three or four days, right? No one's questioning anything until you're into like three states over because we just had this space to be. Phones were not like computers. They were like this. How many of you grew up with a phone like this in your house, in the kitchen? Yeah, I know I'm dating myself. And you had one phone. And here's the thing, if you ever heard the phone ring, you would break your neck to get it, and you would run because people only called when it was important and you'd run and you'd run. This is even pre answering machine, and you'd get the phone and go hello? Hello?

Ted Lowe: 08:41 We missed the call. It could have been the President. You just. The happiest I ever saw my mom is when my dad came home with the world's longest cord for a phone like this and she's like, this is amazing. I can go so far. This is fantastic. I'm gonna kill the dog. You know, this was mobile to her, but there was a time long, long ago where these things didn't control everything. And this is not a slam on you. I'm a fellow struggler. When I don't know where this is, I have a level of anxiety. Right?

Ted Lowe: 09:20 Studies show that every time it dings or everything something pops up, that we get a little bit of a dopamine rush from my brain. We're a little bit chemically addicted to these things, and they're not bad in and of themselves. I mean the maps alone are unbelievable. They talk back to you. It's fantastic. Used to, if you wanted to know a cop was up ahead, you had this thing called a fuzz buster. Anybody have a fuzz buster? Yeah, you put this really little black box up there. It goes beep, beep, beep, beep, beep. I don't think it worked half the time, but it made you feel better. Now we got everything and it's not bad. But, it's filling up all of this. How many of you got in a fight with somebody in your family this week because you said, "that's my charger?" It's my charger, and we plug up and charge up for another big day.

Ted Lowe: 10:07 We're busier than ever. So many of us, not all of us, but there's a lot of us in this room feel this way, right? Do we feel this way? We feel this overwhelmed. And here's the other thing that this thing done that I think we need to be aware of is this: sociologists say that we're working an additional four hours a week called hidden work. And what hidden work is, it's not an official time at work. It's when you're at home with your laptop on your lap or you're doing a couple of texts on the toilet, however that's working for you. But we're doing this work, getting more things and we get a little bit ahead. Boy, if I'm going to knock out these emails when I go out in the morning I'm gonna have a clean slate.

Ted Lowe: 10:55 That's kind of my neuroses, a little bit. I like my inbox to be pretty cleaned out. If I don't it's kind of like over here itching at the back of me but weird. I think the word is not a great word - hidden work; because it's not really hidden is it? Our families, our spouse, they know what's up, but we're working more than ever. We're busier than ever and why do we do this? Why don't we have time to just be? If it's what we want, if we want to have time in our pajamas to hang out, if we want to have time just to hang out as a family, then why do we say yes? Because every time we plug into something, we've said yes to something. We've said yes to adding the activity for our kids. We've said yes to that extra project at work.

Ted Lowe: 11:39 We say yes to that other side hustle. We say yes to all these places we can volunteer. We say yes to all these different things. Why in the world do we say yes so much? Why in the world are we living like this? I think it has a lot to do with doing instead of hanging out. Doing is significant. I had this project at work. It was a significant project that I'm glad got accomplished. Hey, our kids, you know, they were part of a team and we watched them go to the championship again. These are not bad things. That felt significant. Hanging doesn't seem very significant.

Ted Lowe: 12:13 Nobody is celebrating this dude. Look, no one is going by and honking the horn and going you hammock, buddy. Nobody's doing that right? Especially here right now. It's a little hot here, but it's kind of great. We live in Georgia where in the summer you feel like a perpetual sticky note. Sticky all the time. You get to here, and you just feel like you're being baked. I like it. It's fantastic. It's better than what somebody said it's like an oven versus a crockpot. Right? Your oven is on high.

Ted Lowe: 12:45 Why do we say yes? Culture. I think this is a big one. I think this will let a lot of us off the hook. We're just doing this because everybody else around us is doing it. It's just what you do. Culture has always impacted everything. The people that surround us, we do it. I mean, here's the thing. We were not in the gym, you know, playing on the Geckos by ourselves. It wasn't just us. The Hamsters and their parents were there too. They were busy. It was a gym full of us and we're all doing this.

Ted Lowe: 13:14 You know, our company just works at this pace. Everybody works extra hours. Everybody gets home late. It's just what you do. Oh, you don't have, you know, my wife says this, she goes, that feels like there's Instagram guilt. You know, there's these things, oh so and so they're doing this with their kids. I don't feel like we're doing this with our kids. You know we just took our oldest one to college this week. Anybody had to do that? You think you're ready and you're kind of ready. You're like, I'm ready for you to move out of my house. But then when it happens, you're like, oh man, this is, this is a really big deal.

Ted Lowe: 13:49 And we sign up and we do these things because so many people are doing it and nowhere in culture is there a little red flag that goes, do you need to be doing all that? Is there something you could say no to? Because, why don't we say yes? We don't want to disappoint people do we? We want to be the good guy, the good lady. We want to be the person that says yes. We want to be the go to. So we say yes because of culture.

Ted Lowe: 14:13 Why do we say yes? I think this is the greatest reason. I believe this is true of most of us in this room. We say yes based out of love, don't we? Like why in the world, would I sign my boy up to play basketball when he was six years old? Because I love that boy that we just took the college. I mean, I love that kid. He's a kick in the pants. He's difficult as the day is long and I love that kid. Right?

Ted Lowe: 14:39 Why in the world would we do this? I think we say, I'm going to work all these extra hours. Why am I going to do that? I'm doing it for you. I'm doing it because I love you. Right? You are always on me about work. I'm doing it for our family. Now here's where it gets tricky. You see, we've been motivated out of love, so this doesn't seem like we would question what to do about it and this happens so gradual. We don't question what we do about it. Like this didn't all happen at once. You know, we didn't get three teenagers all at once. I'm convinced if they started out, they came out as teenagers we'd send them all back. Right? But it's gradual. So I did this out of love and these are not bad things. This is the other trick of this thing. These are not bad things in and of themselves. This is not a bad thing in and of itself. Work is certainly not a bad thing.

Ted Lowe: 15:34 All the chores around the home, my wife would say her version of this is she is constantly doing chores. Constantly. One time I said, "Why do you do so many chores at night?"

Ted Lowe: 15:44 She goes, "Because it makes tomorrow easier."

Ted Lowe: 15:47 I'm not sure that's right because you are going to be working as much tomorrow is. It's not going to seem easier. But, that's her thing and she's filling it in. I gotta get it done. Why? Why you gotta do all this? Because it makes me a better mom and I'm doing it because I love you. Right? And we fill in and we fill in and we say yes it's based out of love and it's gradual, so we don't pause to think about that. Is it going to fall? There it goes.

Ted Lowe: 16:13 Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, gets to the end of his life and he gets cancer. In 2011, they interview him and this is what he says. He said, "I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others' eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to."

Ted Lowe: 16:42 He is [unintelligible] one of the most influential men of our time. The technology we all enjoy. He changed the world when it comes to technology and how it works and how it functions. But at the end of the day, he gets to the end of it and he goes, all this did for me personally is um provided money. And then that was just what I was used to.

Ted Lowe: 17:04 So you got this guy that's given us this perspective as he's checking out to go. I know all this significant stuff that feels like it makes sense. You're moving a million miles an hour, you've got all these people depending on you, but at the end of the day is this what we want? And that's the great thing about church. That's a great thing about this morning is uh, we're pausing just a little bit. We're turning this sucker off for just a little bit and we're going to go.

Ted Lowe: 17:31 Alright, we're the boss of us and we're going to look at our lives in particular, maybe a different way. And what's so (for me) so wild and crazy and awesome about the Bible is it literally speaks into this. Could you think how in the world, the Ancient Bible 2000 years ago, how could speak in today? I mean they didn't know technology. What do they have? Like camel grams? Sand mail? I mean how did that work? And here we are. How does it speak into this? And there's this passage in Luke that speaks, I think, directly to this. Some of you, if you're a church goer, you've been going to church for a while, I'm going to this passage and you're going to go, oh I know this one already. I could teach this. I can recite this. But there's a couple of nuances in there that then when I'm studying this and I was kind of digging into this going, God, what do you have to say to about this?

Ted Lowe: 18:18 Because here's the reality. All throughout the Bible, the consistent thing is you've got somebody writing to people in their culture. This is how culture is impacting your relationship with God, but it's also how culture is impacting your relationship with each other. He speaks directly into this whole thing of why are we doing more than we are being. So, fresh eyes on this thing.

Ted Lowe: 18:40 See, Jesus and his disciples were on their way. He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. Now you've got to realize the thing that Martha didn't have that we do have is she didn't get a text. Hey, we're almost there. So Martha would have time to freak out, get herself back together, go to Walmart, come back, and when He got there and she's like Jesus! Welcome! No, I didn't go to any trouble whatsoever.

Ted Lowe: 19:08 He shows up. He shows up, not just by himself. He's got his disciples with him. Okay. Alright. Perfect. Come on in. Right? So come on in. Well, here's the thing for her: she thought well, it's not all that bad. Uh, I have a sister called Mary. I don't care what she's called, but she's here. She's got to help me. Sure she'll help me. I mean, she's living here rent free. I mean, she has got to be the one that's going to sense all that is coming when people show up at your house. It says this. It says, she had a sister called Mary who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He had to say. Now you think about Mary for a minute. When Mary sees Jesus walk in, when she sees people she loves walk in, her instinct, her choice is to be: Wow! Jesus is in my house!

Ted Lowe: 20:06 And here's the great thing. There is, this is a great glimpse of Jesus in a home when He is surrounded by people that He loved and loved Him back because here's the thing: Jesus did have a lot of followers, but the religious leaders, they hated him. He was turning everything upside down. They're trying everything in the world to discredit him. I mean He has got like antagonists around Him all the time. He's got these followers. They're still trying to figure him out. They're not organized. But, these people were very, very organized and very, very strategic. But he would carve this time. He carved this time to be with God and He would carve this time to be with each other. And so we have this picture of Jesus in a home again with people He loves and that loved Him back.

Ted Lowe: 20:52 And Mary is like, I am going to hang out with you. She just listened to what He had to say. And I love the visual of her just ah this is amazing. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. That word distracted translates into encumbered. In other words, she was totally wound up, caught up in all of this thing. She is distracted by all the things (and watch that word), HAD to be made. And there were some things that [they] had to do. They got to eat, right? That had to happen. There's some things that had to be done to make sure that they were comfortable; that if you're going to be a host, there were some things that had to be done. But the question she got so encumbered, she got so entangled. She got so distracted. And I think if there's ever a word that would be appropriate to describe this generation and to describe, it's so easy to be distracted.

Ted Lowe: 21:53 We are marketed to like never before. We can Google for a pair of boots, and the next thing we know there's 5,000 ads on our feet trying to tell us where to go get boots. We're marketed to. We're so distracted. We've got the phone. We've got all these opportunities. And she, that is all that she is thinking about, and I think she started to do what you and I can do because this was her version of kids activities. This was her version of too much at work. This was her version of car pool. This was her version of our stress and she starts rolling it over in her mind. I think she starts thinking and she starts looking at all this and she's going: Are you kidding me? She goes in, I think she lost her mind because she walks into the creator of the universe.

Ted Lowe: 22:40 Watch what she did. It's kind of scary. She came to Him and I said, Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me all this to do? All this work by myself? Don't you care? Don't you? That's bold you guys. You've got to realize in this day and age that women were thought of as second class citizens to men. And she walked in to THE man and goes, don't you get it? She walks into that and then she gets really prescriptive. Tell her to help me. What is she for? Tell her to help me. Right? She sees it. She's frustrated. Don't you care? You know the right thing for you to do (and I'll talk to you later, Mary), the right thing for you to do is to tell her to help me. And in this situation, the only answer to all of this is: help. And can't we do that?

Ted Lowe: 23:34 We get all bent up out of this, and we look around and we're like, well, I'm glad they have time to watch TV. I'm glad they have time to hang out. I'm glad they have time to do whatever they want to do because I'm stuck here doing all this stuff. I'm glad this guy at work doesn't have to do as much as I do, and we think we need help. I need help from that person who's lazy. I need help from some kind of new system. I need to get more organized. I need help to figure this out. And we never asked the question, 'Should I change something?' The question from Martha in that moment is, "Can I prepare a meal and still be present? Can I serve these people but yet still be present." Because here's the thing, we're living like this. It's all motivated out of love. But she did like what we can do sometimes. We forget that motivation. You see she had plugged into so many things, perceived or real, that she had not left herself any capacity. Show that love.

Ted Lowe: 24:31 And don't we feel that sometimes? Get in the car. We're going to be late for baseball. Get in the car. Why are we going to baseball? Because I love him. It's good for him somehow. Right? Or in the mornings families have a lot of hard times. They have a lot of hard times. Get in the car. Hurry up. Let's go. Ah, eat your breakfast. You got to eat your breakfast because I want you to be nourished because I love you. Right? We do that.

Ted Lowe: 24:58 The number one time married couples are fighting is when they reconnect at the end of the day. And here's what I watch from families. They will give the world. They will give all that is plugged into this, the best of them and give their families the rest of them. They will treat their families the way they can because they can. I can talk to you like that because I can, but because we can is the very reason why we shouldn't. Because here's the thing. Long after we are irrelevant to work and to strangers and to coworkers, we are going to be relevant at home. How many of you've had a job that you dedicated so much your time and energy to and then you change jobs, and you have not heard from those people since? It's no slam on them. It's just the pace of life. Because you know what they valued in you? They valued in you doing. Right? And in this we've got to make space. The answer could be: What do we do to make space so we still have capacity to love?

Ted Lowe: 25:54 And then Jesus, when she says this, when she said that to Jesus, Jesus got really mad at her. He goes in there and she's cooking. He's got this table and He took His hand and he goes: Don't you talk to me like that. Not really. This is what I love about Jesus. Here's what he said, Martha, Martha. Martha, Martha. I don't know what his tone was and it could have been like, Martha, can you hear me? Martha, you're drunk with confusion over there. Martha, Martha, Martha.

Ted Lowe: 26:31 And I think about that in our own lives. We're in the middle of all this and God's not mad at us. He's not frustrated with us. He's just like, oh honey, buddy, I never meant for you to live like this. This isn't what I want for you. And I know culture says this is okay, but this isn't okay. Is it okay to you? Because it doesn't seem like it's okay to you because it looks like you are worried and upset about many things. It speaks right into multitasking, doesn't it? You're worried and upset about many things. I get it. I see you. I love you. I get it. I see you.

Ted Lowe: 27:07 And I love the idea of God looking down on everybody in this room and saying your name to you. Ah Ted, you're so worried and you're so upset about many things. Then he says this, 'but few things are needed.' Just a few. Or indeed only one. I think he like scaled her down. There's only a few things needed because she wouldn't get the whole of one thing, but indeed only one. So there's really only one thing, Martha. So in the midst of all this chaos, she's frustrated and she's upset and she lets Him know it. She gets prescriptive and then He says that and He goes, Mary has chosen what is better. Now we don't hear what Martha says. I'd kind of like to. I imagine she said something that didn't make the Bible. I don't know. If you read the Bible, it's pretty racy. Yeah. So Mary has chosen what is better.

Ted Lowe: 28:10 Now, I want you to look at that word chosen, because it really is a choice because I think for a lot of us it feels like there's this cultural parent that tells us what we have to do. That we're the cultures' children that is required to do this; that we're required to make this much money; that we're required to spend this much time; that we're required to keep our kids involved in anything. It requires, and my wife and I say this to each other often: We're the big people. We're the boss of us. And I know some of you are going, I've got company and I've got people that depend on me and you don't get my world preacher boy. I don't get all of your worlds, but here's what I do know. It's that I understand chaos, and I understand the tendency to go here. But we get to choose, you guys. We get to choose. We get to pause and that's what this day is about is you go, I get to choose. I get to choose something.

Ted Lowe: 28:59 He says this, 'she's chosen what is better.' And He says it will not be taken from her. He said I'm not going to take the fact that she's sitting here enjoying being with me. I'm not going to take that away from her. I'm not going to trade that for this. I appreciate you doing all of this, but at the end of the day, she's chosen what is better. And what she chose was being over doing, and our culture does not reward that. You're not gonna get any stickers for that. It could even be awkward because people are so, but we get everything that comes with that decision. So if we make a decision when we're choosing between being and doing, we get everything that comes with that decision.

Ted Lowe: 29:39 So some of you may be considering a different job right now. And maybe you've got offered for some kind of promotion, and boy it's gonna make college easier. It's gonna make life easier. Like the financial strain is going to go away, but you're going to be gone a lot, a lot more. If you choose that, you get everything comes with that decision. Boy, college became easier for the kids. Boy, we could spend a little bit more. Boy, we could eat out a little bit more. You get everything that comes with the decision. And the other thing that comes with is you get an atta boy or atta girl or good job, and you, boy, you're going up the ranks. And you can tell your friends and you can tell your family and you can tell yourself, boy, I'm making something of myself. That's what you get with that decision, and it may be the right decision.

Ted Lowe: 30:20 On the other side, you go, what did I get? What do I get? Well, I'm going to get to be home more and we're going to get to hang out more. My kids are gonna know Dad is cool. Mom's home. You get everything that comes with that decision, and here's the thing I don't want us to miss. Jesus addressed doing versus being. And He says, I care more about you being with me than you doing for me. Isn't that really good news? It's what makes Christianity different from every other religion.

Ted Lowe: 30:58 Every other religion is all about doing your way for God to love and accept, and He goes, I care more about you being with me than doing for me. And I am convinced you guys a lot of times our families care way more about us being with him than doing for them.

Ted Lowe: 31:16 My daughter tells me other day (I'm scurrying around the house doing something and) she's like, "Dad, this thing happened at school."

Ted Lowe: 31:21 And I'm going, "That's great." But I'm still moving, and she looks at me.

Ted Lowe: 31:24 She goes, "Dad?"

Ted Lowe: 31:24 I said, "Yes?"

Ted Lowe: 31:24 She goes, "Stop."

Ted Lowe: 31:28 In other words, I want you to be present. I mean [when she was like] I have two sons and a daughter, and so when she was like two years old, we're talking and she grabs me by the face and she goes, "Look at me when you talk to me."

Ted Lowe: 31:38 Two years old, I'm not sure my sons could pick me out in the lineup. Women, you're good at this. You're better at this. What is it? What's in it for you? Because you get everything that comes with that decision. So here's my question for you today. What is one thing you can do to have some just be time? One of the most practical things that you can do that somebody taught us is they said, don't ever be on your phone when your kids or your spouse is in the car with you. And, the kids can't do it either. And, let me tell you, your kids will want to put a dart in your neck when you tell them this rule. They're not. They're not going to like it. They're not going to like it.

Ted Lowe: 32:18 When we set boundaries with technology, our kids aren't great about it at first. It's awkward. They're going to punish us. Oh, you're doing this to talk? I'm not talking. It takes a little bit, but then we trick them because then that thing that comes with just being happens. So maybe you, your one thing is: You know what? We're not going to be on this thing. The other thing you can do is: I'm not going to walk in the house at end of the day on this thing, because I don't think we're known as the leisure period. I think we may be known as the hold on period. Hold on. Hold on. The question is: Hold on to what?

Ted Lowe: 32:51 In those moments we're seeing anything but me. The number one time couples are fighting is when they reconnect at the end of the day. I think this is part of it. You've been giving all day to this, and you're still giving it. One of the greatest things that I'll do (somebody taught me this) on your way home throw work off the bridge, and pick it up the next day on your way back to work. You drop that and you go, "I'm gonna be home."

Ted Lowe: 33:15 For some of you that one thing may mean we're not going to have those on during dinner or when we ever are eating food together. Some of you, it can be something really big like choosing some sort of job. For some of you that are really busy around the house, and chores are your thing. And I've got to get chores done, and the house has to be perfect, and I've got to do all these things for you. Like Martha, it's got to be done. Can you do chores and yet still be loving? Where's the balance there?

Ted Lowe: 33:15 Here's what I know about human nature. Some of you are so glad that the person next to you is hearing this. Oh, he's killing you right now, right? Mmmhmmm. I'm going to send this video to about five people. Alright. Here's the job. I want you to draw a circle around yourself. The only person you're charged with doing this is you. The one person you can change is the person inside the circle. What is the one thing you can do? Don't let this turn into a fight because Satan would love nothing more than to turn this into chaos, more chaos, more crazy. And this is what this does, my friends. It is not judgment. It is redemption. And God's graces are new every morning and we get to pick. I love golf clap. Yeah.

Ted Lowe: 34:29 I'll close with this. We had a dear couple in our lives about five years ago. This is the couple, they're a little bit down the road, their kids are a little bit older and we were always asking them parenting advice and that we loved their marriage and they were always going on vacation, which I was like, I got to figure it out how to have that life, have that life. But they were just great wisdom. About five years ago Jackie, the wife was killed in a car accident. I had the privilege and the pain of walking with Mark through the pain of this, her husband.

Ted Lowe: 35:00 And he says to me one day, he goes, "Do you know what [was] the biggest regret of my marriage?"

Ted Lowe: 35:05 And to be honest with you, I thought it was going to be something scandalous. I don't know why. I've been working with married couples a long time. I thought, oh no, I thought they had it together and it's going to be this thing. It's going to be ugly, but I'm not going judge. I just, uh, he needs to get it off his chest so I'll just let him get it off his chest. But I've got to be honest with you, it like killed my spirit because we so loved the way they did family.

Ted Lowe: 35:23 And he goes, "The biggest regret of my marriage is this." He says, "Jackie was always trying to create little pockets for the two of us just to be together." He goes, "She would want to go for a walk after dinner. She'd want to go to Starbucks after dinner." He goes, but her go to, her go to was the front porch and just rock."

Ted Lowe: 35:42 Now, living in Georgia you drive by houses. A lot of them have a front porch with rocking chairs, but there ain't nobody rocking. But Jackie wanted to rock. That's what she wanted.

Ted Lowe: 35:53 He said, "She was always trying to create these little windows." And he goes, "The biggest regret of my marriage is that more times than I care to admit, I would say to her, I need to catch up on some emails. I need to get ready for a meeting tomorrow."

Ted Lowe: 36:07 And it all made sense on paper. It was all good stuff. I mean, here's a guy who put himself through college. He had built this company, had all these employees depending on him, had his family depending him, he had to pay for the house, and all these different things. It's all legitimate. He goes, "But at the end of the day, I wish I had just rocked. I wish I had just rocked. What is that area where you just need to rock?"

Ted Lowe: 36:24 And I told him, I said, "I want to leverage this story because you got perspective in the toughest way."

Ted Lowe: 36:32 If we can help people to get it before anything like that happens, what a gift that would be. What a legacy to Jackie, what a legacy to what Christ has called us to do. And he says to us, I care more about you being with me than doing for me and so do the people that we love. Where do you need to just rock?

Ted Lowe: 36:52 Let me pray for you. Jesus, thank you for this church. Thank you for this staff that cares so passionately about the people in this room and about the people in this community. They struggle too with their own families, but they know that there's hope in you, that there's hope in how you tell us when we live in a world that says do, do, do, do, do, go, go, go, go that you whisper to us, ah buddy, sweetheart. I don't want you living in like this. You don't have to live like this. I want you to live free. I want your souls to not be weighed down all the time. I want you to look at each other in the face. I want you to laugh. I want you to just be. God, thank you that you're that God, that we're not in a spinning race trying to figure out how to get you to love us. You love us already. Help us to love each other like you love us with, with no condition. Help us, God, to figure out in a crazy world how to be present, and how to just be. I pray it all in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Recorded in Chandler, Arizona.
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Cornerstone Church
1595 S Alma School Road
Chandler, Arizona 85286