In response to this past Sunday’s sermon and upon acknowledging the realities of pain, conflict, confusion, loss, and grief in this world, it occurred to me that I do not get enough time in quiet to ponder things of depth and significance. Even in the most dense forests or stretched out beaches, we have a cell phone that we think needs to be on us, like something so important may happen that moment that we’d need to know about immediately. There is a buzz of technology, internet, and connectedness that prevails in the modern era, even if we can’t hear the noise.
These technological availabilities may disguise themselves as advancement, opportunities, and means to convenience, but I must present the obvious drawback of their distraction from reality and the way the world–apart from wires–is wired. I’m afraid we’ve trusted technology and connectivity with friends and information to the point that we are bound to these like drugs that we run to in any time of discomfort and stress. Even facebook’s brilliance doesn’t put us face-to-face with people.
We waste away hours trying to solve problems now with things we’ll have to do again tomorrow, and more frequently thereafter to achieve the same satisfaction, until, one day, the activity is completely meaningless. We stare at screens, absorbing entertainment, games, and gratification from others, looking for our happiness now when eternal matters are at stake all around us. I found myself here today, realizing I am distracting myself from larger-scale realities by spending too much time with things that don’t matter, rather than pressing into the Bible, spending time investing in life so that my legacy might reap the returns for God’s glory.
Surely anyone with the slightest bit of honesty would admit that they can look backwards in their life and admit times they wished they’d acted differently–responded less harshly, called back, been more available, not broken the law, not abused their friend. I believe we do bad things, the wrong things, unprofitable things, unhelpful things, lazy things, and the like simply because we haven’t yet comprehended the magnitude and extent of the good that is offered to us.
God in Christ promises us eternal life by faith in what he’s done. Did you catch that? Eternal. Life; one of joy, peace, love, honor, and humility, acknowledging the maker of all things. It is the way life once was and will be again one day upon the restoration of all things. Only a few years ago, I would have denied that this was true, but God interrupted my shortsightedness and pride. Everything today points outside of itself, from emotions, to the order of physical things, to the radical change of converted people covered in God’s love. And by faith we have it, never to feel lacking in anything, as long as we do not end our search on less-worthy pleasures but on him, the great Originator.