Thursday, March 29, 2012
Are We That Addicted?
When my husband and I attend any gathering of Christians for the purpose of fellowship around the Word of God, we turn our cell phone ringers off while the speakers are presenting their talk. This year at the Ligonier Conference, we were amazed at the number of people who came to the sessions with their cell phones on. I observed a fellow texting during the entire presentation by a speaker. Another person worked on his laptop. I admit I had my IPAD, but I was doing some note taking on it so I could review what the speaker said following his talk.
Quite frankly, I think I must be old school. I grew up without cell phones, IPAD's, laptops, and even computers. I actually learned how to sit through a talk and take lots of notes so I could remember what was said. Now that I have and enjoy using the modern technology...I still take notes and listen carefully to a speaker. I have to wonder, though, are we that addicted to technology that we cannot sit for an hour and listen to a speaker without checking our email, playing a game or texting a friend? Will the world self-destruct during the time we are not on the "NET"?
Jesus had made a simple request for His disciples to watch and pray with Him. He was in deep turmoil over what He would have to face. However, three times in a row, He returned to find them asleep. This occurred right after Peter had protested that he would never deny Jesus even if it meant he had to die with him. Would we do any better than these disciples? I do not think so.
Some at the conference we attended could not even sit one hour to hear a speaker without clicking away on their cell phone to send text messages or "tweet". It made me wonder why they had spent the time and money to come when they seemed so far removed mentally from what was being said. I had to wonder if, indeed, technology and electronic gadgetry is displacing God? Are we becoming so attached to it that we do not have time to concentrate on a church service, conference speaker or musician?
Obviously, I love the internet and the ability to communicate with people all over this world. It can be a marvelous tool for reaching others very quickly. Nevertheless, it can also be an addiction and temptation that keeps us so preoccupied that we do not have time for God and His Word. I am as guilty as the next person for wasting my time in fruitless game playing, or some other activity.
Jesus told His disciples to watch and pray that they may not fall into temptation. He further reminded them that the flesh was weak even though the spirit was willing. This holds true for us as well. We need to take some time to evaluate our use or over use of our electronic devices. Certainly, this is especially true while we drive. In addition, we also have to keep in mind that a face to face encounter with another human being is far more effective than just sending them a text message. Our goal should be to spend quality time first with the Lord and second with our family and church family. Nothing is as meaningful as that. A text message cannot give a hug. An email cannot replace a smile, and a phone call cannot connect as well as an eye to eye conversation. Lets keep these things in mind the next time we attend church, a Bible study, or a Christian conference. May we be watching for Jesus and praying for His soon return. Selah!
How do you handle the distractions of cell phones, laptops and other devices? I welcome your thoughts on this important topic.