Archive for September, 2009

Thanks to my fellow man Andrew Bruner, who introduced me to the Relevant magazine, I went to their website and stumbled upon this article. It talks about how our digital world makes it very hard for us to keep our attention on one thing for an extended period of time.

With cell phones and computers, the internet is so accessible and communication is so easy. There always seems to be something to do, be it necessary or not. These technologies just ask to be used at any moment of slight inactivity. It’s rare that one finds themselves with the time – or rather, the capacity, – to just sit and think, reflect on life. Social networking websites like Facebook don’t improve the situation, either. I myself join in the throngs of college students who check Facebook religiously every day.

Speaking of short attention spans, I was listening to iTunes while I read the article, and it took me much longer than it should have to finish because I couldn’t help but to constantly switch between the two windows. Brett McCracken, the author of the article, puts it into perspective thus.

The thought of sitting still and doing nothing is unfathomable.

Indeed. It reminded me of an experience that some of the members of my church had over the summer. During Leadership Training, they were instructed to go out and spend some alone time with God for two hours. Lots of them were planning on bringing their Bibles with them, but they were told to go empty-handed and empty-headed. They couldn’t talk or read. They were not to pray or even think! They were to just sit and imagine God sitting next to them.

In the end, some say it was one of the most enlightening, satisfying, and powerful experiences of their lives. Just hearing about it inspired me. Too often I pray that God gives me genuine direction and wisdom in my life, and I expect to just run into it as I go about my regular day. But it isn’t a stretch to realize I might have to go out of my way and strive to gain that insight.

Between classes, work, homework, and spending time with friends, our schedules are usually full from head to tail. The situation looks even worse when you think of all the various hobbies you prefer to spend time doing. In addition to all my daily obligations, I’m always looking to do more blogging, pleasure reading, chess and guitar-playing. That leaves very little time for reflection!

I challenge myself and others to spend a couple hours this week by ourselves, listening to God and reflecting on life.

-hasta pronto

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