Analog Living in a Digital World
We live in a digital world. We watch digital movies, play video games, listen to music through digital files, send text messages, and watch youtube on our smart phones. We can even order movies, books, and music right from those phones. Our world is increasingly digital. Gone are the days of going to Blockbuster video and searching frantically for the perfect movie to watch on a Friday night. Most people no longer go to record stores to buy their music, they can order it from their computer or their phone. In fact most people don’t even know how to operate a record player. Bookstores are still full of people, but you can also order a copy right on your phone or laptop. It is a hands off world.
When was the last time you picked up a pen and paper to actually write a letter? We are great at sending text messages, I sent out about 300 yesterday myself and the recipients were anywhere from 12 to 76 years old. We don’t write letters, we don’t listen to actual music, we don’t go to movie stores anymore. We live in a hands off impersonal world. We don’t even make coffee the way we used to, we now pop a pod into our makers and press a button. Its certainly more convenient, but is it better? In fact that is a question that we could ask about all of it. Are our ways of communication better? Maybe in some instances. Is our way of making coffee better? How about the way we listen to music? Go listen to a record and compare it to an mp3 file, the answer is obvious. Is a digital book better than an actual book in your hands? Perhaps, but in many cases our way of living may be a little more convenient but it isn’t better.
I will admit I like being able to buy a book on my smart phone app, or download a movie for the kids directly from the tv. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I still love going through the wooden crates at a record store and finding an album. I love taking it out of the plastic and placing it on the turntable. I thoroughly enjoy placing the needle on the album and listening to the sounds that spring forth. I love it and when I do those things I am invested in the music, which means I’m going to take time to listen a little more carefully. After all I’ve spent time finding it, looking it over, and “putting the record on”.
The same thing is true with coffee I love the convenience of the pod machines, but I find that I enjoy my cup more when I grind the beans and actually manually make the coffee. I have a device called an Aeropress where you actually have to press the coffee through the filter with your hands. Is it fast? No way, each cup takes about 5-6 minutes to make. In comparison the pod machines have your cup ready in under a minute. Is the hands on approach worth it? You bet. I’m now invested in my cup and I spend time fully enjoying it. The same thing can be said for a made from scratch meal versus microwaving what we used to call a TV dinner. One is much more convenient. The other is much better.
We have become hands on and impersonal in our search for convenience, but I’m not sure we have become better. I would say that the Bible calls us not to be hands off but to be hands on, not to be impersonal but to be very personal, not in regards to making coffee or listening to music but in regards to life.
Consider some Scriptures:
Psalm 105:1 – “Give thanks to the Lord; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples!”
John 13:5 – “Then Jesus poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around them.”
James 5:14 – “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.”
Colossians 3:16 – “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
Those are hands on Scriptures, those are personal Scriptures. Give thanks, call upon the Lord, make known His deeds among the people. That means come to church and worship, spend time in prayer, and tell other people about Jesus. Get involved, its very hands on.
Jesus washes the disciples feet with His own hands, He dries them with His own hands, He spends time talking to them and showing them love. It is very personal. The same thing is true in James 5, pray over someone and anoint them with oil. It is get involved and care and love those who are hurting and struggling.
Then Paul says in Colossians that we should spend time in God’s word, that we should teach one another, that we should sing songs and be thankful. That is hands on. That is analog living in a digital world. These Scriptures call us to be different. In an uncaring world they call us to care and to love. In an impersonal world they call us to be personal, after all the God that we serve is a personal God, who personally loves us and cares for us. These Scriptures call us to live differently for the glory of God.
Will it be convenient? No at times it will be hard and it will be messy. Will it be better? No doubt, as we personally love God and as we “hands on” love people, it will be better. Living for God’s glory always is.