Going offline

Luke 11.2-414067517_1231295756911936_1391560983021297587_n

 

It’s there in the statistics!

It was once just a treat

for the weekend,

however  a new survey has found

that the average Brit now forks out over £110 per month

on takeaway meals.

 

Not only that  but Chinese and Indian food

has pushed  the traditional fish and chips

into third place.

 

More to the point,  this trend is set to continue

with the biggest group  of fast food consumers

being 25 to 34-year-olds who spend as much as

£2,623 a year on them.

 

So too are leisure habits changing

with the average adult

internet user

claiming to spend over 20 hours

online per week

and 28 minutes per day

on mobile phones.

 

No wonder the BBC

could claim that

Britons spend more time

on tech than asleep.

 

But they can’t be too holy

about that

as we still spend

around four hours

a day

watching TV.

 

Here is proof,

if any was needed,

we are deluged

with words to read,

programmes to watch,

and people to correspond with

not to mention

vastly differing foods to eat.

 

Indeed, hardly has one idea

entered our consciousness

than it is rudely

shoved aside

by another and another.

 

One possible choice

is usurped

by a spectrum of others.

 

One intention is thrown away

by a more novel one.

 

As a result,

what we might call

thought noise

is continuous,

deafening and increasing.

 

Now of course

there were none of these distractions

in Jesus time.

 

Yet he still felt the need

to take himself

and disciples

away to a quiet place

so as they could get

some peace.

 

In other words,

he want stillness

not so much of the body

but of the mind

and certainly the soul.

 

How much more so

then

do we need

to take ourselves

out of the maelstrom

of digital living

to find rest, serenity

and release.

 

Yet do we do that

just so that we

only survive

the fray

of another week?

 

Or is our need for tranquillity

based on something

more nourishing?

 

Do we not seek stillness

so that next week

will be better,

next week

will be more fruitful

and next week

will be palpably more valuable?

 

For, if we go into the wilds

with Christ,

it won’t be to a desert

but an oasis.

 

Since it will be there

we will discover

refreshment of purpose,

of hope and of vision.

 

It will be in that haven

he will again feed us

with quiet but delicious faith.

 

It will in that refuge,

the miracle of inner renewal

will take place.

 

It will be in that sanctuary,

Jesus will offer

the bread of faith;

faith that he is with us

in life’s perplexity and speed,

faith that he will support us

each and every day;

faith indeed

that in God’s ancient wisdom

all will be well

and all will be well

and all manner of things will be well.

 

 

So let us return

to our community

ready to use

the gift of technology

rather than be enslaved by it.

 

Let us use all of today’s communications

to tell out

the good news

of our provider and saviour.

 

Let us also give thanks

for all the potential good

it can do.

 

Let us indeed enjoy

life’s tasty snacks

occasionally.

 

Yet let us not forget

the need

to recharge our batteries

by the older ways.

 

Let us not neglect

our time of quietness,

of calmness

and of togetherness with God.

 

Since then alone

can we truly counter

the curses of today –

the drain of fastness,

of over exposure

and of superficiality.

 

For it these

that are keeping hungry people

from nutritious spiritual food.

 

It is these

that offer a quick and easy meal

that leaves the soul

starving.

 

It is these,

if untamed by holy stillness,

that will leave

a ravenous generation

without the very bread of life

which is Christ Jesus.

 

Are you still with me?

 

Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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