Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Better?

How long ago was it that the microwave became a basic kitchen appliance? Remember when cable televison became fashionable? Picture discs anyone? How about 5 1/4 floppy drives?
Who first used mapquest? My daughter bought a CD carrier for the car the other day. Does anyone remember 8 track carriers for the car? I thought about these things this morning as I was in the kitchen trying to come up with something convenient, fast, healthy, and tasting good for breakfast. I quickly realized that this combination was not going to add up. I could get a few to add up, like fast and tasting good, or healthy and convenient. I could not really get them all to add up. The variable in the equation was the fast part. The usual fast scenarios involved our microwave. I usually cannot equate the microwave and healthy in the same context. Call me paraniod, but I just don't think it's natural to heat things with your own self contained UL approved nuclear reactor. I can't help but think that some morning I'll turn on the Today show only to find out that researchers have decided that microwaving your life away is literally microwaving your life away. No one can argue that microwaves haven't enabled you to do things faster. I'd like to argue that faster is not necessarily better. Everything we're involved with it seems can be accomplished faster today than yesterday. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of fast. I'm schedule driven like the next guy. I could never go back to one of those 386 computers. Remember them? They left with DOS. I still remember when Windows 95 took my breath away. I still remember walking in to my office in my first ministry and looking at their computer which was the size of my refrigerator. Now I'm typing on one smaller than my Greek text book. And speaking of Greek. Well I was anyway. I remember taking 3 years of Greek language study to get a better understanding of the original intent of the language. I needed to get a "feel" for it. Did you read that? I needed a "feel" for it. You only get a "feel" for something by spending time with it, by wrestling with it, by internalizing it. Now instead of relying on 3 years of digesting books, I can hit a few keys and have all of the work done for me on my ridiculously fast computer and a state of the art program. Is that better? I don't think it is at all. Sure I can get the meaning, the original intent and the proper tense of the verbs. I don't have a "feel" for it though. I can't put myself in the place of Paul or James or Luke and try to find out what was going on in their heads. I can get it done in a timely manner, but not a healthy manner. I do fear that our faith has become like that in many areas. I myself have what is known as "The One Minute Bible". I can't help picturing in my mind standing before God and having Him say, "Thanks for that minute you spent with me the other day." CHurch services are structured in our country to get you out in 60 minutes or less, including commercials. Not much silence, meditation or contemplation going on then. It's already been done for us. Pick up the flyer or the mini devotional on the way out and read it at the next intersection you're stopped at. You know....the one with the timer out of sync so you have to wait a full three minutes before the light changes even if there hasn't been a car coming the other way since last Thursday. Is that what God meant when He said "Be still and know that I am God"?. Sure the computers and DVD's and microwaves and remotes and all of those time and effort saving inventions, like The Clapper, have given us the ability to do things faster. But is it better?

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