The Dichotomy of Technology: Just When I Thought I'd Heard It All..
I can't wait to see what I write. I don't see any way to tie this to Spiritual things, but who knows? Perhaps God will drop something into my brainspace.
I just heard a commercial (as I start this..) advertising a Website you could go to, and book a tee time at any one of scads of different golf courses around the USA. OK, technology; no big deal. But, the last line the announcer spoke really, REALLY got my attention:
"Booking a tee time is now as easy as booking a flight".
Well that was my reaction, at least. And then I recalled how easy it is, now, to book a flight. But my initial reaction was completely different; here's why:
From 1975 to 1984, I traveled all over the country almost all the time. 9 years, 100 airports, 30-some states, 3 countries. And that was long before the internet, E-tickets, or any of the wonders that have become so routine they are now just "conveniences".
We complain about having to walk up to a machine at the Terminal, sticking in a credit card, and having it print out our boarding pass and luggage tags for ourselves. Well, I was raised in traveling in a time when you called the airlines and made your reservations (unless you wanted to use a travel agent), and in those times, it was certainly more difficult to book a flight, than what it is, today.
In fact, we subscribed to the OAG .. the Official Airline Guide .. a humongous book they'd print and send our company every few weeks. It listed all the flights that there were, city by city, and it was an easy matter to find where you wanted to go, find the flights you'd need to catch to get there, and make the arrangements. Using it, we could build flight connections that didn't depend on the airlines to establish, and we could usually get where we wanted to be, when we wanted to be there, with minimal layover time, etc.
But it did take a bit of use, and a bit of time.
NOW ... I'm told that I can book a tee time at some golf resort in Tucumcari, New Mexico, as easy as I can book a flight? THAT'S the standard for ease, now?
I wonder. When Jesus approached the guys hanging around the waterfront .. the fishermen .. and told them to follow Him, He seems to have made it a bit difficult. Some said they wanted to bury relatives; some wanted to tell them goodbye. He was particularly hard on those guys. And He also told them that animals had places to call their own, but when you went with Jesus, you wouldn't. He was going to be pretty much it.
We know now, that when you are down to just Jesus, you're going to find He was what you needed all along. But back then, how did they know that?
How could they know that?
Nonetheless, some saw, and some followed. And as a result, you and I are followers, today.
When I look at the church today, I have to wonder: have we made it as easy as "booking a flight"? Is there any sense of leaving something behind when someone "makes a commitment", or "invites Jesus into their heart"?
I don't know. But when I see the church in Acts, and the churches for which Paul, Silas and the others endured such hardships and went to such lengths, I'm prompted to look at the church today. And you know the statistics ... 16.4 million members ... 5-6 million actually here ... 80/20 or 85/15 ... trouble finding enough nursery workers or VBS teachers.
You've heard them all, too, I suspect.
Does that sound like the guys who got up off the sand and left their boats behind? Or like the ones gathered in the upper room (if that's what it was) when the Holy Ghost dropped by and set the world on its ear? The ones that caused such an uproar that one of their guys ... Peter ... stood up and set out a couple minutes' dissertation on their condition, and Jesus, resulting in several thousand wanting to be saved? At a time when people were scared .. even one noted disciple .. to be identified with Jesus?
Come to Jesus ... as easy as booking a flight? Or getting a Tee Time at some golf course, somewhere?
I think not.
I really think not.