“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)
Each week I outline the devotions for Monday-Saturday, assigning appropriate daily Scripture verses. The Wi-Fi has been down at my residence for a couple of days, making me aware of my dependence on it for checking my grammar, hearing my devotion read back to me, and then posting it. I also stream classical music in the late evenings and mornings, and of course, I check the weather, news, Twitter feeds, and Facebook. Yup, every day. You might say that I have grown dependent upon my Wi-Fi access, along with billions of other people—and you would be right. And it is a “thing” of this world.
Living in sub-Sahara Africa when cell phones were starting to come into use was a great way to learn how to build relationships via face-to-face interactions instead of depending on devices. Just trying to get a dial-up connection took the patience of Job. Even after cell phones because popular, it was difficult to keep a connection as the cell calls were frequently dropped—and still are. These are the times when you realize that building friendships, discipleship, and fellowship are best undertaken in person.
Now, in 2018, I am assessing my use of the Wi-Fi with the passage from 1 John 2. Am I so enamored with being connected that I put my faith in it rather than in Christ? Do I love it the way I should love God? Does my flesh and do my eyes long for it and despair when I can’t be connected? I am happy to report that one hour at Starbucks took care of most of my needs and I can easily continue with my life unconnected. I spent an enjoyable half-day with a dear friend catching up over coffee and lunch. I look forward to another visit with a sister in Christ tomorrow. I am writing while off-line. I can watch TV instead of Netflix, but I could also read a book, which would be better still. I am relieved that, at least last night and today, my life and my wellbeing has not been dramatically affected by the interruption in our Wi-Fi. It’s a wake-up call though.
Spending much of our time on devices is loving the world since it is the most impersonal way to interact. I am not comfortable emailing, messaging, or entering into a discussion with people online unless I also have a relationship with them, have met them in person at least once, hope to do so one day, or am working on a project with them. What about you? Will you take inventory of how you use your “connected” time? Is it for ministry and eternal matters, with those whom you know? How might you change your priorities and use of your time on while connected?
I’m still thinking about it. (And I’m going to grab this brief time of connectivity to post early for tomorrow.)