I was talking to Sally how things have changed since I was little. There was much less mobility then- not nearly as many multiple car families. There was much less last minute shopping; stores had narrower operating hours, there were limited numbers of places to buy gifts in my small Nebraska home town, and gift cards- the patron saint of beleaguered shoppers- had yet to appear on the scene. We only had three television stations there on the Plains to entertain us. No VHS or DVD to watch new movies or old. No cell phones or messaging or texting or Internet or laptops or everyone with headphones stuck in their ears. I asked Sally how we got by. Her simple and yet historically accurate reply was, "We talked to each other." That's it. We existed in a world where if you wanted to know someone it took face to face interaction and not an online search. Don't get me wrong- I love the modern conveniences and being connected but there's something missing, I'm afraid. And the sad thing is I fear the latest generation does not realize there is something missing.
We (Dave, Zach, Ben, me) were on our way to an early morning coffee fix this AM when we passed a church close to their house. They have an attractive marquee flashing a number of messages to the passersby. I remember only one:
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK
I'm not sure why but it hit me kind of funny. Don't get me wrong- I like FACEBOOK. Currently, I have 3740 friends and I send this devotional out nightly to all of them, including many who live in Asia and non-Christians. On my mission trips, I send back nightly reports and up to the minute pictures of the work in China and/or Vietnam and it lets my friends feel like they are to some extent with me. On the other hand, I can honestly tell you that I don't know many of my FACEBOOK friends. They are friends of friends of friends. Many of them would have to introduce themselves to me if they walked into the room right now and vice versa. I tell my students that I find it fascinating that demons recognized Jesus but His closest followers usually did not. Jesus also had this conversation/confrontation with the Pharisees in John 8 and verse 19:
Then they asked him, “Where is your father?” “You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.
The Pharisees knew who Jesus was but only in an adversarial sense. Knowing about someone is not knowing them. During this holiday season, it might make the world a better place if we simply listened closer, made a little eye contact, and maybe even go offline for a day or two and like Sally reminisced, just talked to one another. Would we LIKE that? Merry Christmas to one and all from cold and snow covered Wichita, Kansas.
Applicable quote of the day:
"Josh will begin disappearing into a future where the only place he and I remain friends is on the Internet."
Jay Asher, The Future Of Us
Jay Asher, The Future Of Us
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