Mastering Technology: Once again, my world is being rocked by Comer’s book, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. In the part of the book where he discussed “Slow,” he gives 20 rules for slowing down. How crazy is this: he recommends sometimes choosing the longest checkout line to slow himself down, get off of the drug of speed, and give himself time to change mindsets so that by the time he gets to the cashier, he is in a different frame of mind and treats them like a soul and not an ATM. As a result of reading this morning, I have taken the following steps to master technology:
Changed iPhone to grayscale (there are a lot of online articles about the tie between what happens at the biochemical level in our brains and how we get addicted; eliminating color helps)
Deleted ALL EMAIL FROM MY PHONE!!! I am most excited about this. I constantly check my email, most of the time out of boredom, for anything exciting (e.g., online sales, eBay sell, application responses, etc.)
I turned off almost all notifications, including badges, so that I have to actually open apps to see if there are any notifications
I am not going to work my online job with my smartphone within reach
All social media has been removed from my smartphone
Face the facts: Either you are mastering your technology or it is MASTERING YOU.
Could it be that our out-of-control, addictive/random/careless/consuming practice of grabbing our smartphone every time we are bored is one of the most unfaithful behaviors we perform on a day-to-day basis as Christians because it makes us less attentive to God, our own hearts, and others around us? The answer is, yes, especially when you consider that one of the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit is self-control.
Speaking Truth: David writes in Psalms 15:1–2: “Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart.” Don’t you like that line: who speaks the truth from their heart. Of course, one cannot speak truth from their heart unless they do two things: (1) hearing truth from the Lord, and (2) speaking truth to oneself. Truth matters. Among other things, hope is rooted in truth. Without a foundation of truth, hope is empty, even false. Thus, the virtue of honesty, or truth-telling—seasoned with love—is a vital part of Christian discipleship. We usually fall in one of two extremes: (1) Scared to speak up and share the truth, whether it be about our faith or in our relationships, or (2) Brash and bold about speaking the truth, but in a jerk-kind-of-way. Yet, Jesus again is our master and strikes the perfect balance: “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17 NIV).
Excerpts From My Reading: I am 60–70% of the way through John Mark Comer’s The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. Wow, has it been a timely and impactful read. Buy the book. Make it your December reading. Read to be changed. Read to be challenged. Read to be convicted. If you are an American, you need to read it. Period. Here are a few quotes and I will continue to share over the next couple of weeks:
Random Fact About C.S. Lewis: Did you know that Lewis thought that it was most likely true that the Book of Job was not a historical book, but rather a story told to help us think through suffering, faith, etc.? This would not necessarily imply that it is less divine, but that there are different genres in Scripture all meant to accomplish different—and ultimately the same—purposes. He writes in Reflections on the Psalms:
Happy Thanksgiving! Find a way to unwind, throw your technology in a nearby lake, hang out with family, go for a nice walk, and rest if you can.
Current News in the United States: Shootings, shootings, and more shootings. A few days ago, several were killed at an LGBTQ hangout in Colorado. This morning I read the news of several shot dead by a co-worker at a Walmart in Virginia. Just over the weekend, “According to Chicago police, 20 people were shot in 15 separate shooting incidents between 6 p.m. Friday and 11:59 p.m. Sunday.” There will be so much pain for so many over the holidays. Lord, bring comfort to those suffering, and in the midst of such pain, pursue those who do not know you that you might become their Savior, Lord, and “Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3). When one’s world comes crashing down, what humanistic ideal or false comfort really holds? May the Lord, kind and true, be the rock upon which our lives are built. All else is shifting sand (Hymn: My Hope is Built on Nothing Else).
A Book on Deck: I have had a friend tell me how powerful a particular book has been in his life. It has influenced how they do family, especially on the weekends. A co-worker recently told me that they are using it for discussion in their local church. And it is a topic where I have plenty of room to grow. I plan on reading this in the next few weeks along with some of my other reads: The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World by John Mark Comer. Care to join me? Published in 2019, it has over 7k reviews on Amazon. Here are some excerpts from the Amazon page.