Abundant Accessibility

On Friday, November 11, 2011, LTi is hosting an event at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary entitled “Re-Ignited: Kindling Your Inner Fire for God” with special guest speaker Chris Webb (and yours truly). In anticipation of that event I am focusing my weekly blogs on the topic, “What are the winds that blow toward your soul and seek to extinguish your inner flame for God?”

Part five: technology – abundantly accessible today. The plethora of technological distractions available to 21st Century Christ followers is a far cry from the simple rebuke that Jesus once gave to Martha for being distracted by a handful of household chores, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things” (Luke 10:41).

What Jesus was concerned about with Martha was in sharp contrast to the one thing that mattered most to her sister Mary…to sit at the feet of Jesus and pursue a richer intimacy with the Savior, “listening carefully to what he said” (Luke 10:39).  Technology is by far one of the greatest hindrances to that “one thing” today.

Does technology have a grip on your soul? In an average day, how much do you depend on your iPhone or Blackberry, iPad or Tablet (and their respective apps), laptop, video games, cell phone, gps, texting, tweeting, Facebook (just to name a few)?  If you were to add up the numbers of hours you are spending in front of a screen or monitor, in what ways is that negatively impacting the quality time you are spending with God, loved ones, and those with whom you serve?

For all the good that technology offers (and there are plenty of positive impacts), we need to be cautious of the potential for excess. Monitoring and minimizing our use of technology, maintaining healthy moderation, is a discipline worth pursuing. It’s not that we must eliminate it completely, but instead insure that it’s not becoming an idol of our heart. Those who struggle with technology addictions of many kinds (i.e. excessive connections to Facebook,  unhealthy attachment to pornography, or continually feeding habitual workaholism) are often in bondage and earnestly desirous of being set free.  This is not an easy habit to break, to say the least.

Kindling your inner fire for God on a daily basis will include taking regular Sabbath rests from the constant stimulation offered by technology. Just because it’s easily accessible to you doesn’t mean you need to say yes every time. Choose instead the abundant life of Christ and the ‘one thing’ that matters most: listening carefully to the loving whispers of heaven into the deepest recesses of your soul.