We love technology for lots of reasons. I'm a little embarrassed to tell you that the other day, I was wishing someone would start a linky for, like, app of the month. Because I already thought about what I'd link up with. First, this iPhone app called Paperless, which is for chronic list-makers like me. Second would be Tea Map. Be excited with me: here is an app that will tell you where all the tea houses in your area are. Wherever you are. And you may not know how much I love to go to tea. Except now maybe you know, since I'd actually write about the tea house app. By the way, app didn't used to be a word. I bet it's not an approved word in WWF, my acronym for my favorite game on my phone, Words With Friends. I know. This paragraph is ridiculous.
Moving on. In Bible study this morning, Beth Moore was kindly reminding me (in her Stepping Up study) that since we are in what the Bible refers to as the period of time called the "last days," and since the Bible also says that our Enemy will fight extra gnarly against us (I think that's the exact translation) in the last days "because he knows his time is short," that a primary way we will be defeated is by being isolated and discouraged.
How often do you feel lonely and discouraged?
For me, I'd say often. Not always. Not rarely.
Bethie made a good point. That loneliness and discouragement are on the rise because our culture places an increasingly high value on independence. Mix that with our growing dependence on technology, and we will quickly trade down for superficiality in our relationships. We text because we don't want to have a long phone conversation and then wonder why we feel lonely.
Today I caught myself having a serious "conversation" with my husband via text messages. In the middle of it, I thought, "WHAT am I doing? This convenience is for an efficient exchange of information. Not for sorting through a recent misunderstanding with my spouse!" I can't see his face, hear his tone, have his full attention...it was a serious lapse of judgement on our parts to try to discuss a heart-sensitive matter via texting. And I started it.
I could make the excuse that we don't have enough time together this week to talk through everything. I could say it's just because we are passing each other in the night without so much as ten minutes of time to chat. But the solution is not upping the emails and texts. Those can help, a little. However, the problem isn't literally a lack of words between us. The problem is that our relationship can become too low a priority. And that is something technology cannot fix.
It seems too many of us are starved for intimacy. Starved for deep friendship. Starved for being heard and seen and truly understood. Relationships require regular doses of time. Eye contact. Patience. And work. I have to ask myself how much I am at fault for allowing any superficiality to creep into my relationships.
I Peter 4:8 says to love each other deeply.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says don't neglect to meet together, and don't forget to encourage one another.
Our spouses, friends, parents, and children are gifts to us, relationships with which God has surrounded us for good reasons. I am ashamed at how I often reduce these relationships to things I can manage with my phone. Loving deeply is a high calling and I want to answer it. In person.
God would never limit the number of characters we could speak to Him. And thank goodness we can't text Him. It's a scary thought, but we'd do it. Maybe that's why Jesus chose to come onto the scene way back when, before all this stuff complicated things. He knew his hashtags would be super cheesy anyway.
And then love them deeply.