There are plenty of distractions today. Cell phones, tablets, computers, video games, televisions, movies, sporting events, travel — the list is endless. The distractions are endless.

Some distractions are helpful, providing a respite from matters that seem overwhelming. They help restore strength and help clear the mind to provide a fresh perspective.

Other distractions, in my opinion, do more harm than good; for example, the constant distraction of cell phones and texting; social media outlets; and video games.

The reason I believe these do more harm than good as distractions is because of the focus they demand. They cause people to become myopic and inwardly focused.

Those hooked on video games isolate themselves in a fantasy world to the neglect of friends and family around them.

Those hooked on texting are losing the art of communication and effective human interaction. Those who spend tons of time on social media feel free to espouse their opinions freely, pass along erroneous information, and have no compunction about maligning other persons — because for the most part it is done anonymously.

As I read through what I have written so far, I found myself wondering if I sound like an old fogey. To some I might, but humans have been created to be in relationships with one another. This means interacting, conversing, touching, living, playing, working, struggling and celebrating with others. We are not made to live in isolation. We are not wired to be “Lone Rangers.”

The old saying, “United we stand; divided we fall” is very true. Evil in this world seems to be gaining ground because humanity is fracturing. More and more ways are being introduced to keep us from being united.

The scriptures call us to be united, to be one, to cling to one another, to love one another — including those we might deem to be our enemies; to pray for one another, and to be in community together.

As we are still early in the new year, let me encourage you to reflect on your distractions. Are they beneficial or detrimental? Reflect on your interactions with other persons. Are they in good shape or do they need to improve?

Let us all strive to strengthen our relationships with each other, and with our Lord during this coming year. 

The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.