Saturday, July 25, 2009
What are we really plugged in to?
We're technology obsessed. Now days, you can have your phone, television, internet, camera and video games with you wherever you go. I realized the other day that my children won't remember the days of film cameras (What? You mean you have to WAIT for your pictures to be printed in order to view them?) or of slow, dial-up internet because those are now a thing of the past. In fact, it will probably be hard for them to fathom that some people do not have personal computers. By the time they are my age, it is likely that everyone will have a personal computer that fits in the palm of their hand (like the iPhone!).
I remember when car phones actually stayed in the car. I remember when computer screens were larger than the CPU and took up most of the desk space! I even remember eight track tape players and records- things my kids have never seen!
We are plugged in all the time. We can check our email while sitting in the movie theater. If you don't want to call someone, we can send them a quick text. We can download our favorite songs straight to our mobile phones. We can upload millions of applications to play so we never have to be still, quiet, or bored. We have made it so that we can be constantly entertained.
Now, networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace allow us to know every thought, emotion, and action our friends and family care to share through status updates. I know people who update their status messages every half hour!
The other day, we passed a church in our town that had the following message displayed on their sign: YOU'RE INTO FACEBOOK, BUT ARE YOU INTO GOD'S BOOK?
It got me wondering, do we get into God's Book as much as we log on to Facebook? Are we more connected with the world than we are with God?
What if for an entire week, we reversed the priorities. What if we checked in with God as much as we check our emails? What if we used the time we messaged and texted to pray and praise? What if plugged into God's Book (the Bible) as much as we plugged into Facebook?
If things we reversed- if spent as much time with God as we do on our computer (whether it's our laptop, desktop, or hand-held device), would we find that we were spending MORE time with God?
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying technology is bad, but now days, with this stuff at our fingertips all the time, everywhere we go.... we can find ourselves constantly distracted from our purpose in life.
As I mentioned in my previous entry, I've been reading One Month to Live (by Kerry and Chris Shook). Now, I don't know if they mention any thing of this sort in the book (I haven't read all the way to the end yet, but, in their book, they ask what we would do if we only had thirty days to live. Wouldn't we stop living in a virtual and digital reality and start living authentically, boldly, and "in real life"?
Would we get out there and live instead of just talking about living? Would we tune into God more? Would we have more interest in the spiritual status of our friends?
Believe me, I'm preaching to myself here. I've really tried to make more of an effort to step away from the computer, and those things I can easily eat up my time and distract me from my purpose and mission.
This last week, I found myself really diving into the Word of God, and in one week, I had spiritually devoured half of the New Testament. I think sometimes I get online and research all sorts of things that stimulate me intellectually, but I have never found myself so intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally stimulated as when I plug into the bible and really focus.
There have definitely been days when reading and praying has just been something to hurry and check off my list of To-Do's, instead of something I sit down, focus on, and enjoy. When I rush through it, I miss so much of the blessing and walk away empty.
I feel like I haven't really been able to organize my thoughts in the last couple posts, but I hope you understand the point I'm getting at.
If someone were to look at those things that occupy our time, what would be their impression? Would they know we are passionate about Christ? Would they see that we serve God? Or would they see that we are more interested in entertaining ourselves?
Again, I'm not saying it's wrong to have a little entertainment, but I definitely thing that we live in a time where people believe we must be constantly entertained (and many people no longer know how to simply entertain themselves without some high-tech gadget, and of course, most people these days cannot stand to be still or quiet).
I just think it's about time that we slow down and commune with God. Some of us have GPS (Global Positioning System) so we know where we are and what direction we're headed in at all times, but do we need GPS- God's Positioning System, so we know where we are spiritually and what direction God wants to lead us in.
Anyway, I'm not going to proof read this or attempt to organize it to sound jazzy and catchy. I hope you get the point I'm trying to make. I know we all have different struggles and different distractions that we could get wrapped up in for hours and hours. I'm interested in hearing what yours are... so please, feel free to share in the comments.