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Monday, 28 May 2012

Technology - a Curse or a Blessing?

I guess it’s both, isn’t it? We all have experienced it both ways – it’s great when it works, but there are so many glitches that are possible, more than a technophobe could ever ask or imagine...

Money can fly around from one bank account to another without anyone ever touching it – which can be great, but can also be a horror if there is a misplaced digit. Computers can churn out the words faster than most fingers can fly, but they can also refuse to turn on, eat your data, stop talking to your printer, get a virus ...

Technology, in theory, enables everything to happen faster than it used to, so that theoretically, anyway, we should all be able to cram even more activities and tasks into each day. Wonderful, until we blow a fuse and experience burnout. 

Perhaps the best ‘fast’ to offer the Lord these days is not a fast from food, but a fast from technology, so that occasionally we can experience days at the tempo they were designed to run at. We might then have time to smell the roses, to enjoy a coffee, or to read a book in the sun. 

Technology is power, in a sense, and the church has just celebrated Pentecost, the anniversary of the coming of the Holy Spirit to empower the church to share the truth about Jesus. Power to testify. 

I just read about a believer in Eritrea who was arrested two days after he became a Christian, detained for years in tiny, airless cells and sometimes in small containers with loads of other uncharged prisoners. He was offered freedom if he recanted. His parents pressured him, and he thought he would sign the document, but he had no peace of mind. So he decided he couldn’t deny the truth of who Jesus is, and the peace returned, the deep inner peace, though his imprisonment remained. He was given the power to choose to be true to Jesus, despite the cost. (He has since escaped successfully and lives as a refugee.)

That is Pentecost power. Power to stand firm in the truth despite the cost. Thankfully, the cost is not so high for us in the West. May we all be filled with power to bring the Kingdom of God to our communities.

I’ve made it all sound so miserably serious. But in fact, the power brings with it joy beyond description. Joy deep in the heart and soul. 

More power, and more joy, than technology could ever provide.

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