Within a few flicks of my finger, I have had 37 conversations, all in the span of 20 seconds.
Although not conveyed in person. They did not lack emotion or purpose.
That is more than some people have in a day.
Our capability has outpaced our capacity.
Our hearts and minds are over stimulated.
With our access to social media, our ability to be instantly connected, we have created a new tool.
As with any tool, this can be used to create or to destroy.
Are we mature enough to tell which one we are doing?
We consume, yet do not process.
There are many ramifications of this.
Stress, shame and anxiety being the three most prominent.
Because, although we know the information, we lack the ability and capacity to act on it.
I am stressed because I am now made aware of the issues and goings on of a much broader scope.
I feel shame because I lack the resources or capacity to fully engage with it.
I am anxious because I either wonder about what else I do not know, or from my attempts to control situations that I am now involved in.
At what point does the amount of conversations we have decrease their value?
Does constant over stimulation produce a sense of desensation?
Not out of hardness of heart but out of self-preservation.
These are the thoughts that have echoed through my life as of late.
It has led to the recognition of a theme.
Distraction, a subtle redirection from engagement.
I can hide behind distraction, stating that I care about “X” but was focused on “Y”.
Ignoring the fact that it was I who welcomed “Y” and gave it a seat at the table.
Distraction is the enemy of stewardship.
Adolescence is where we are to learn to navigate distraction.
Yet, I put seemingly put myself into a state of voluntary perpetual adolescence.
Edmund Burke is attributed with the quote “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”
Is the reason why our problems are perpetuating due to our distraction?
In Genesis, God calls us to more, to be stewards of the life He has given and to cultivate and spread His image to the world around us.
As a believer in Christ, I am to be a steward of the gospel and a champion of the value of the life that God has given.
Has this new tool that we have created and gorged ourselves on put me into an adolescence state? Am I capable of processing all of the information from all of the conversations that I am having from my relationships? Or is my overstimulation and gorging on information just a distraction from being a steward?
My distraction is an addiction.
Many would call it normal, but normal doesn’t make it healthy.
During this season of Lent, I am taking a step. A step away from distraction. A step towards a mature handling of the tool that we have created.
I will switch the data plan off from my phone. I will take a step back.
Because distraction is an addiction, I am expecting to go through a process to get healthy.
There has already been denial, it isn’t that bad. Everybody is on here!
There has been the gradual acceptance that this is where I am, engorged in the opulence of information at my fingertips.
There will be withdrawal. Anxiety will surface as to what I may miss out on, or not know about.
And then, prayerfully, there will be recovery. The panic of what is being lost replaced with the appreciation of the value of what I have. The mile wide and inch deep will shift to depth of intimacy in close proximity where growth may flourish in healthy relationships.
My desire is to move from overstimulation, to the appreciation of feeling, to be a steward that values life and isn’t distracted with all of the information about it.
I am not saying that the tool is bad, I am saying I’m not sure how to use it the way God intends. I’m not quite sure any of us are yet. We are all new at this.
My prayer for us is this: May we maturely develop as stewards to value the life and the gospel that God has given. May we engage deeply in the relationships that He provides, for His honor and for His glory. May we use the tools given, to cultivate and spread life and not distract us from it.