By Dr. Greg Davis
Technology is wonderful, but it comes at a price. The greatest problem technology creates is the encouragement of a superficial attitude towards life. I may have a thousand friends and followers on social media, but really, how deeply do I know more than just a few of them? Perhaps this superficiality is best understood for what it encourages us to forget: the inner life. If we obsess over all things digital, we have little time for looking within ourselves. Technology has the potential to rob us of our contact with the center of life.
Evidence is found in our busy lives. (I’m writing this on a computer after checking my calendar on my mobile device, which is a micro-computer, answering several emails, Facebook messages, and texts, and checking over the minutes from a meeting my secretary just received on her computer and printed on the laser printer.) We find ourselves overloaded by so much information these days…and it’s fast! We stay so engaged that we don’t have time to celebrate life. We do not have time to know each other and care for each other. This is partly why prayer has been pushed aside – we have lost contact with our inner life. When we forget the inner life we seek quick and easy answers, and we forget that real living does not focus on easy answers but on the frequently unanswerable – or partially answerable – mysteries life presents us.
Another phenomenon of life today created by technology is our constant desire to avoid all pain, the pain of not having, the pain of not knowing, the pain of missing out on something. This causes those who are going through pain to become isolated, and it makes it difficult for us to use suffering to transform ourselves and the world.
Therefore the church must be a healing community, where problems and pain are not just mentioned or cured, but the place where problems and pain are seen as an opportunity to gain a new vision of life. The church becomes the place where people do not seek to deny pain but the place where people join together to share their struggles and find in them new life. This church is a place of welcoming and openness. A place where the power of God is focused to change the human heart and influence human society, tasks which are not separate.
I give thanks for this church, which has an openness to accept me and the power to transform me. Unfortunately, technology has not ushered in an age in which all our problems will be overcome, but the church is giving me a way of moving beyond them.
See you Sunday!