The age-old tradition of gathering around the dinner table is about so much more than eating. Sitting together without any distractions and having real conversations is something that we all could use a little more in our lives.

I don’t know about you, but I can remember the times we would spend with family around a long dining table filled with the best Southern cooking you could ever imagine. The smell would greet you at the door, as would my family — with a wonderful warm embrace, of course.

The conversations, the laughs, the smiles, the siblings kicking each other under the table, and the one rather firm debate were guaranteed. Time would seem to stand still and nothing else mattered. Everything outside of those moments could wait.

This tradition is not honored by many anymore. But I was reminded of how important eating family dinner together really is the other day when my 22-year-old son made a comment at lunch. “Its not about about what’s on the table or what table we are at,” he said, “it matters that we are here sitting together as a family.”

Wow! I was amazed—and thrilled!

I know that lives are busy and sometimes it is not possible to sit and dine together for every meal, but setting aside time to do this when possible is vitally important. Putting away our phones and any outside distractions and just focusing on each other and sharing the moment is not only a time of bonding, but a time of healing and helping each other.

We are faced with daily decisions and deadlines. Many things need to be done, whether at home or work. But the time we spend sitting and talking at dinner is time that we can completely take ourselves away from those distractions and really focus on each other.

The world would love for us to continue living the monotonous, mundane life of a robot, never looking up to see what is really going on around us. God, however blessed us with a beautiful world to explore and enjoy. He blessed us with family and friends and gives us time every day to enjoy those things.

The benefits of gathering together and actually listening to each other can bring so much more joy — more joy than a stranger’s social media feed that probably isn’t as awesome as you think it is.

Take a moment to enjoy real life, the life you have been blessed with. Learn to step away from the outside world and into the lives of your family and friends. Our families need this, our friends need this, and our world definitely needs this.

Time is precious and short. Break bread together and enjoy all the blessings and little moments that can’t be replaced.

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