Dr. James C. Denison
President, Center for Informed Faith, Dallas, TX
June 2, 2011
My BlackBerry is ill. When I try to send an email it tells me it has a “packet error.” I’m not sure what that is, but it sounds serious. At least I can’t send an email while driving, which is good since such activity may soon become illegal in Texas. A bill banning texting, emailing and instant messaging while driving passed the state House and Senate yesterday, and now awaits the governor’s signature.
Continuing our theme of technological challenges, the World Health Organization has concluded that using a mobile phone may increase our risk for certain kinds of brain cancers. They likened the risk to that which is posed by gasoline engine exhaust, which is classified as “possibly carcinogenic” to human beings.
Soon we’re going to have even more chances to test the WHO’s conclusion. According to The Wall Street Journal, the number of Internet-connected devices will outnumber people two to one by 2015. In North America, the number will be five to one. As more and more cars becoming “rolling hot spots” with built-in Wi-Fi technology, we can stay connected no matter where we go.
I’m old enough to remember when all this technology was supposed to simplify our lives. Machines would enable us to reduce our work hours and increase leisure time, or so we were told. How’s that working out for you?
Why do we insist on being connected to technology 24/7? I don’t remember the last time an email was so urgent that it couldn’t wait for me to get to my laptop. Nevertheless, I feel disempowered by the fact that I cannot use my BlackBerry to read my email wherever I happen to be. Why is this?
Here’s my personal answer to the question: I need to feel that I am doing something worthwhile with my time, all the time. My greatest personal fear is that God will one day tell me that I missed his purpose for my life. If I stay as busy as possible, wedging as much activity as possible into every moment, at least I’ll know that I didn’t fail for lack of effort. If I throw enough stuff against the wall, some of it may stick.
In the midst of this frantic, frenetic activity, I sense the Spirit calling to my soul: Slow down. Focus on me. Listen to my voice. Trade the urgent for the significant. Ask me to show you what matters and lead you into what lasts.
Where do you need wisdom this morning? What problems or decisions are you facing today? Having the Internet in your pocket may be a good thing, but listening to your Father is better, for “the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6).
The Spirit is ready to lead all who will follow—no Internet connection required.