I woke up this morning to a text message. I opened several applications before getting out of bed. Oh, and I answered that text message. At work, I turn on Spotify while I get blasted with e-mails, text messages, phone calls (one ear bud in while on the phone. Come on, you do it too). I get a second to take a break, so I pop open some social media apps and maybe take a peek at the news. I’m annoyed by the advertisements I’m forced to look at and listen to. I’m also annoyed by most of the vapid content. When I get home from work I usually open those same apps. I might check the news at dinner. My applications are once again draining battery before bed.
We are plugged in. No Doubt about it. We demand constant connectivity. But at what cost? My wife and I worry about our three daughters who are fluent in IOS and Netflix. We worry about ourselves for that matter. I’m not generally one to concern myself with limiting my connectivity, but I see the validity in concerns regarding this topic. It was something my wife said in passing that really grabbed my attention. She said something rather profound. She said we are too busy for God. Her comment hit me square in the face. She was right. I sometimes struggle to find 15 minutes to pray or study scripture between all of my electronic “responsibilities.” When I say responsibilities, I mean a bunch of unnecessary social media and superfluous browsing. Let’s toss television in the mix as well. Take the sum total of time you spend interacting with applications, web, media, etc. Now take the sum total of time you spend praying, reading scripture, reading in general, having a face to face with a real human (Skype and FaceTime don’t count). Which sum is greater? I would venture to guess the media heap towers above the pitiful real life heap. We, collectively, are too busy for God.
I am hypocritical as heck and realize the inherent irony in ranting about media on a blog platform. In fact, I was just laughing with someone about the current anti social media trend being propagated on social media. I just can’t take it seriously. My intent is not to dissuade you from social media or anything else for that matter. My point is simply to tell you God misses you. Don’t lose him in the demands of the 21st century. Know that no one needs admonition more than I do. I am guilty. I have developed a strange, obligatory sense of loyalty to my applications and social media platforms. Sometimes I don’t even want to but do out of a sense of obligation. I don’t want to read the news, but I habitually find myself opening several different news applications multiple times per day. Yep, Donald Trump is still in the news and North Korea continues to spew rhetoric. I open Facebook, Instagram and a bunch of other apps with mechanical determination. The very last thing I want to see is a picture of your dinner, but there I am, time and time again, looking at your dinner. It’s nothing personal and is my own fault. I’m sure your dinner was excellent. It’s just that constant thrumming of information has the potential to blot out God. It can steal our peace.
“It’s just that constant thrumming of information has the potential to blot out God. It can steal our peace.”
It caused me to shudder when I asked myself why I don’t have that sense of obligation to God. If someone were to ask where my sense of obligation resided, I would arrogantly and falsely tell them it was with God. In my heart that’s true, but my lifestyle sheepishly suggests otherwise. A rock solid relationship with Jesus can become a pretentious charade with frightening ease. Intentions remain intentions until actualized. What crushes me is that we, as believers, so easily become complacent. We don’t notice the sneaky, subtle devices that tear us away from God. I have a bible app on the home page of my phone, but I guarantee I access this application far less than other applications I’m addicted! It hurts, but I’m man enough to admit it. I love God. I will follow him endlessly. I love when he whispers to me and tells me how stupid I am and then loves me regardless. It is astonishing how easily we allow the most important things in our lives to be truncated by those passing whims and unnecessary pleasures.
But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”
(1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV)
What better tool of the enemy than to diminish this free gift with the mundane masquerading as something important? We live in a society that is too busy for God, but we’re not. Even if it takes a second, we’re not. We’re really not. God’s love overshadows and blots out the mundane. All he asks is that we allow him into our lives. This is not a call to boycott social media or technology. I love technology (especially Apple). But I for one want to miss those pictures of your dinner because I’m paying attention to my kids or having a conversation with Jesus. We are not too busy for God. God is lovely and worthy of our time and obligation. I want the amount of sincerity in my voice to rattle the person who asks me what I’m obligated to. GOD!