It has been awhile since I’ve posted one of my devotionals for Our Daily Journey, which means either that they have been so good that I didn’t need your feedback or so bad that I was too embarrassed to show you. Here is one I just wrote about technology—there is a lot I had to leave out to make the 300 word limit—but I wonder if there is enough here to merit posting in a series whose target demographic is twenty and thirtysomethings. Any suggestions or changes that you would make? I am aware of the irony of posting these Luddite thoughts on a blog.
read > Psalm 23:1-2
The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
If our technology had existed in Jesus’ day, our Bibles might read: “Jesus asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’, but they were checking their email and missed the question.” Or “A third time he asked him, ‘Simon…do you love me?’ Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time, but then his cell phone rang and he replied, ‘I’m sorry, Lord, I’ve got to take this.’” Or on Pentecost “Peter continued preaching for a long time, and a handful of people believed and were baptized while thousands more texted, twittered, and live blogged his sermon.”
Technology can stifle our spiritual growth in subtle ways. The first Christians “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer” (Acts 2:42), none of which come easily in our wired world.
Who has the time or discipline to study the apostles’ teaching and pray when cable television and the Internet jangle with unimportant yet interesting diversions? Most of what we see on TV or surf on the Web does not directly affect us. Our lives would be little changed if we missed that score, review, or celebrity gossip. Yet filling our minds with such minutiae comes at some cost, for we may unknowingly project our reading of the ephemeral virtual world upon the eternal truths of God’s Word. When everything is trivial then anything is trivial.
Fellowship and community are thought to be the strengths of our new media, but furtive texters ignore us and intrusive phone calls interrupt us. We often sit in the presence of bodies whose minds are elsewhere.
Lest you think I’m a Luddite, ask yourself this: When the Good Shepherd leads you beside “peaceful streams”, do you “rest in green meadows” or reach for your iphone?
more > Are you using technology or is technology using you? How might the constant diversions of our media influence your ability to think deeply in a single direction, and how might this impact your walk with Christ?