The Word: A time to go unplugged

Published 1:11 pm Friday, November 10, 2023

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The Word

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey

Over the past couple years, more and more couples have asked me to make an announcement before their wedding services start. The announcement? “This is an unplugged wedding. Please keep your phones and cameras in your pocket or pocket book and allow the bridal party to be the first ones to post pictures.” As I make this announcement, most folks grin and get it. But….there are always a handful of faces that grimace and have a “how dare they” look. It’s as if this telling of “please don’t take pictures” offends them. I gotta admit…I love this “unplugged” wedding idea. 

Numerous pictures have been ruined with someone’s arm and hand and cell phone in the way. Professional photographers have been hired and paid to take captivating photos from different angles of this wedding ceremony…and all of a sudden… an arm and phone/camera are all up in the shots they are paying for and that perfect moment is now ruined because of that person trying to capture the moment for themselves. 

Unplugged. Sit back, enjoying the surroundings. Please don’t be offended that you weren’t asked to be the photographer. Please don’t be upset that you’re being told to put your phone away. Please don’t be irritated when asked to remain “unplugged” for the next several minutes. Soak in the atmosphere yourself and then celebrate with cheers and tears, laughs and smiles. Allow the bride and groom to post their own photos. Heck…wait and get some funny pictures at the reception. Just sit back and enjoy the show. 

You know what? I think we all need to “unplug” at times. No, not just at weddings…but I think we could all use some time away from our phones, cameras, laptops, tablets, etc. To be completely “wireless” and electronics free. To soak in the moments around us. To capture our surroundings and not have to have a blame phone in our hand. Try this: go 24 hours without any electronics this coming weekend. “Woe, woe, woe, woe, woe! That’s too long!” 

Ok…how about go from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. without any. Go out to eat and don’t touch your phones. Enjoy the conversations at the table. Go for a ride and find some beautiful colors in the trees. Unplug for just a moment and try to not worry about what you might be missing on social media. Just… unplug…and enjoy the area around you. Ephesians 5 tells us to watch how we live, be wise, and make the most out of every opportunity. Unplug…soak in God’s goodness… live in him, making the most out of every opportunity in reaching the lost and living for God. 

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at