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Jesus said some people hear the word of God, and a desire for God is awakened in their hearts. But then, “as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life” (Luke 8:14). In another place he said, “The desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Mark 4:19). “The pleasures of this life” and “the desires for other things”—these are not evil in themselves. These are not vices. These are gifts of God. They are your basic meat and potatoes and coffee and gardening and reading and decorating and traveling and investing and TV-watching and Internet-surfing and shopping and exercising and collecting and talking. And all of them can become deadly substitutes for God.
A Hunger For God: Desiring God Through Fasting and Prayer.
And today is our last day for our 10 days Daniel Fast. Let momentum keep building as Deep Calleth Deep camp draws near… And let it be a spiritual explosion when it comes! Amen.
This life therefore is not righteousness but growth in righteousness;
not health but healing;
not being but becoming;
not rest but exercise.
We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it.
The process is not finished, but it is going on.
This is not the end, but it is the road.
All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.
At this very moment, you’re multi-tasking:
- you’re likely at work, home, or at a “third space”;
- have multiple windows open on your screen;
- are listening to music;
- are reading another blog post;
- are talking to/thinking about someone;
- reading or writing an e-mail;
- are blinking;
- have a pulse.
Okay, scratch the last two. (And lest you surmise I suffer from the “I’m okay, you’re not okay” malady, ironically I’m multi-tasking even as I compose this blog post.)
So let’s pause now—really, right now—stop all multi-tasking: turn off your cell phone, don’t check e-mail, take a break from anything media related, and slowly work your way through this quotation from James Davison Hunter:
The very nature of modern life is its fragmentation and segmentation into multiple constellations of experience, knowledge, and relationships with each constellation grounded in a specific social and institutional realm of a person’s life. Under such conditions, we experience a fragmentation of consciousness—what someone has recently called, “continous partial attention.” This fragmentation is often reinforced by a world of hyperkinetic activity marked by unrelenting interruption and distraction. On the one hand, such conditions foster a technical mastery that prizes speed and agility, and facility with multiple tasks—for example, using e-mail, I-M, the cell phone, the iPod, all the while eating lunch, holding a conversation, or listening to a lecture. But on the other hand, these very same conditions undermine our capacity for silence, depth of thinking, and focused attention. In other words, the context of contemporary life, by its very nature, cultivates a kind of absence in the experience of “being elsewhere.” Faithful presence resists such conditions and the frame of mind it cultivates. (To Change the World, 252)
So what’s the corrective to this “fragmentation of consciousness?” Become lifelong card-carrying Luddite members to the Neil Postman Fan Club? Do we even need a corrective? Just how will we cultivate a theology (and lifestyle) of a distinctively Christian “faithful presence?”
Think about it and give it prayerful consideration, and stay tuned for Hunter’s answer.
extremely CHIM quote, but I kind of get it and like it… And of the above 8 tasks mentioned, I was doing almost all 8 when I read this =S
Am an extremely distracted person, and I do lack focus in every sense…
Food for THOUGHT for me.
By John Newton
I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith and love and every grace,
Might more of his salvation know,
And seek more earnestly his face.
‘Twas he who taught me thus to pray;
And he, I trust, has answered prayer;
But it has been in such a way
As almost drove me to despair.
I hoped that, in some favoured hour,
At once he’d answer my request,
And by his love’s constraining power
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
Instead of this, he made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart,
And let the angry powers of hell
Assault my soul in every part.
Yea, more, with his own hand he seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe,
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.
Lord, why is this? I trembling cried;
Wilt thou pursue this worm to death?
This is the way, the Lord replied
I answer prayer for grace and faith.
These inward trials I now employ
From self and pride to set thee free,
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st seek thy all in me.