I recently finished watching the PlayTone special done on the second President of the United States, “John Adams.” Among the many things I learned by watching the series with the “extra content” feature rolling was just how long everything took.
If I recall correctly, it took Mr. Adams six weeks to voyage from New York Harbor to France when he was on his war-time fund raising campaign. And this was considered “fast” as the trek normally took eight weeks.
I fly there in a little under 8 hours. And not only that, I do it a few times annually whereas Mr. Adams stayed there so long that he returned only to find his little girl now 21 years old.
“Hey beautiful, how was high school?”
All of it.
THE SPEED OF 2009
The thing that strikes me is, truly, how much faster our lives are today. And I can honestly say I enjoy it! But our battles are certainly different. They tried to stay alive during an 8-week voyage and the resulting diseases they picked up once abroad; we try to find meaningful time spent with people, not just random forwards from family members constituting “staying in touch.” (Hardly a worthy comparison if you ask me). Q: What other interesting dissimilarities can you draw between 1785 and 2009?
I have this really fun little iPhone. I love it. My wife calls it my “second wife” as I’m always “fondling it.” (Sorry if that’s too derogatory; family joke). And I must say I’ve had to work at not allowing it to rule me. But for good reason. It acts not only as a little window into my world, but into almost anyone else’s world that I want to peer into. In the blink of an eye I can check in with friends from across the world, track my flights in real time, control my iTunes library from across a room, tune my guitar on tour, update my blog, record a new song, watch YouTube videos, even read the Bible in more translations than I knew existed (including Russian!). It’s fabulous!
And then a thought comes to mind: what would this have allowed John Adams to do?
A NEW REVOLUTION
One of the key things that has kept me from letting my heart elope with my iPhone is remembering what this really cool (really cool) technology is for, and where it came from. If nothing is knew under the sun, and that every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights, it’s pretty easy to conclude that God gave man the ability and onus to come up with these cool little gadgets and the infrastructure to drive them…yes, even the iPhone. (I’m sure my “super-religious” readers will have a hard time swallowing that one). If that is true, and I believe it is, then I come to one resolution: these tools should help us drive ministry on all fronts, allowing us to shape culture from a divine perspective.
Q: How are you using what God has given you? Give everyone some good new ideas!
I’ve recently been on a kick, giving teens a similar challenge at all conferences I’ve been speaking at: What if our FaceBook status was not used to constantly complain or divulge secrets no one but Jesus should read (and correct!), nor to tote who we’re currently lusting over (quite frankly…just calling it like I see it), but to display what God is doing in our lives moment by moment? Since pushing this, I have received countless letters from youth pastors and parents about how their kids are changing the way they use MySpace and FaceBook.
What if we started using the video feature on our cell phones to record healings in cafeterias at school when our Christian friends offer to pray for a hurting class mate?
What if we started overrunning virtual communities with testimonies of the miraculous power of the living God until no one could not talk about Jesus without someone asking them to change the subject back to Jesus, not away from Him?
What if all this Twittering was simply a divine idea that originated from the Father’s heart to see instantaneous revival all across the globe? And He’s so sovereign that he’d even let secular business people feel like they came up with the idea (and let them walk away with a fortune).
Or maybe it’s as simple as people seeing how a real marriage is supposed to work, wort’s and all; how a teenager can get good grades; or how a person can overcome adversity in their body without being discouraged.
Disciples of Christ, wherever you are when you’re reading this, I present you with a two-fold challenge:
1.) Start using your windows into the rest of the world, whether iPhone, laptop, or desktop, as a means of affecting those “around” you for the Kingdom. If you’re not sure where to start, just ask yourself, “What has God spoken to me today?” (And if you can’t answer that, might I suggest putting this gizmo down that you’re reading on and go spend some time with your Daddy).
2.) Let the Holy Spirit spark your imagination about new inventions that could potentially affect humanity and fund the Kingdom as a result…
…of course, that’s a whole other post.
Listen, I’m not asking you to become a religious zealot, replacing a lance with an iPhone (shoot, you may not even like Apple…so use your Voyager or whatever!); I like telling people I’m on a date with my lovely wife as much as the next guy. But might I suggest being more deliberate with what you write? Affect culture for the better. I’m releasing a new CD, which means I can Twitter about concert dates in which people will hear about Jesus, buy music that I think matters, learn about other photographers and graphic artists who contributed to my projects, maybe use a great duplication company that I want to see thrive, and hopefully be inspired to create their next masterpiece portraying the way life should be…for the glory of God.