Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"Too Accessible Too Much of the Time"

A few hours after I wrote yesterday's post on the creeping, overwhelming impact of excess technology on our lives, I was sitting on my back porch, savoring the quiet stillness of a warm afternoon, reading these words that Ruth Haley Barton penned back in 2006. 

My soul was moved. 

It's not the first time God has used her to impact my life.  And I found that I was strangely relieved not to feel alone in my reflections ...

She writes, "One of the new challenges for our generation is the impact of technology on our spirituality.  This warrants serious consideration.  If we are not careful, technology has a way of compromising our ability to be present to ourselves, to God, and to each other - all of which are fundamental elements of the spiritual life. 

I don't know about you, but I am sad when I have set aside time to be with friends, and because a cell phone is left on, we are at the mercy of all manner of intrusion.  We think nothing of taking phone calls in the middle of meetings, restaurants and family gatherings.  I am disturbed by my own compulsion to check email late at night and first thing in the morning. 

When left unchecked, this lack of discipline imperceptibly robs me of rest in the evening and silent presence to God in the morning.  I can become exhausted by the intrusion of the media and technology into every corner of my life, resulting in constant overstimulation of body, mind and emotions ...

Exhaustion sets in when we are too accessible too much of the time.  A soul-numbing sadness comes when we realize that a certain quality of life and quality of presence is slipping away as a result of too much 'convenience.'  Breaks in the day that used to be small windows of replenishment for body and soul - like driving in a car, going for a walk, having lunch with a friend - are now filled with noise, interruption and multi-tasking. 

What feels like being available and accessible is really a boundaryless existence that offers no protection for those things that are most precious to us."
Still Reflecting ~

"This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: 'In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it'"
- Isaiah 30:15.

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