By Scott Keith –
While watching an awful and somewhat old (circa 2009) TV show with my daughter this morning, I was quite surprised at one of her comments. At a point in the show one of the characters pulled out an old flip phone on which she was looking at pictures and listening to music. My daughter promptly and sarcastically said, “awesome technology.” You see, to her, the flip phone was as antiquated to her as a record player is to me. My, my, my, how fast things change.
The Sony Walkman was released in 1986, though it had been in prototype mode since the late 1970s. When it hit the market, it was the coolest thing since the advent of the cassette tape itself. I had one, and loved it! The Walkman remained a usable and somewhat popular piece of technology into the 2000s, even enduring the advent of Sony’s Discman which was also released in the 1980s. The iPod was released in 2001 and quickly began to revolutionize the music world. The iPod was then totally eclipsed by the iPhone in 2007 and quite literally changed the world. Soon phones, music, movies, all would be in the palm of our hands. Fast… In 20 short years something that was awesome, the Walkman, is now cliché. In 4 short years, something that was nearly ubiquitous, the Motorola Razor Flip-phone, was for old people and for those not cool enough to use a Smartphone. Fast… Our world changes so quickly, it is hard to keep up. (Please forgive my lame, inaccurate, as well as wholly incomplete history of technology, I’m just trying to make a point.)
Technology is in our back pocket and in front of our face almost every second of every day and the reality is that it is ever changing. Our reliance on this technology and the nature of how quickly it changes has changed us too. We move fast. We, like our technology, have become uncomfortable with sitting still. The days of the quiet afternoon to just sit and read a book are all but gone. The times when we would simply spend a quiet afternoon at the park with the family, without some reason to be there like a Soccer game, are a thing of the past. Things change too quickly for that, and we too are on the hunt for that change. We want it now, and we want it fast. Recent studies have shown that our brains have literally been rewired to expect information to come at us more rapidly and in shorter bursts. In short, we are now hard-wired for faster, faster, faster.
So what! Isn’t this just me waxing nostalgic one more time? Actually, I’m not sure, it certainly could be. Yet, when I assign 20 pages of reading for a college level course and the students seem wholly incapable of completing it because it was too long, I think otherwise. Further, though this change is inevitable, perhaps in our families we ought to seek balance, and even look for the unchangeable. On the one hand, seeking balance would mean searching out those things which are timeless in the here and now; playing games, reading a book, picnics in the park, and balancing them with time spent in independent rapid ventures into the virtual world. On the other, the unchangeable is only found in one place. God’s Word which delivers to us He who is the same yesterday, today, and always, and is everlasting. The immutable God was made known to us in the incarnate Christ, who took on our sin and set us free. This is God’s unchanging love for us shown on us in His son who’s redemption will never change and never fail. So perhaps, this Holy Week, we slow down. This week we receive the Gift of His redeeming Word and the forgiveness offered in His body and blood, as it joined to that same Word. This week, the immutable God meets us in our fast, fast, world, as He always does, and slows us down and redeems us once more. Peace be with you as you this week as you slow down to remember both Christ’s atoning work for your sake in His crucifixion, and the victory He shares with you in His resurrection.