In our last post on harnessing the power of technology (part 1), we looked at the profound effect of technology on us.
It is so easy to get overwhelmed by technology and to find ourselves as William Morris said way back in the 1860s, “It is the allowing of machines to be our masters, and not our servants, that so injures the beauty of life nowadays.”
What would he have thought of our crazy and frenetic Internet 24-7 culture!
I promised in the last post to give two personal stories of how I have tried to harness the power of technology in my own life. Actually I have three!
Not long after my spiritual awakening in 1984 (you can read about it here), I was encouraged to read a classic book by the author C. S. Lewis called ‘Mere Christianity‘. I eagerly got the book, but found myself struggling to find the concentration and focussed time to read it through. Maybe that is more a reflection of my limitations, but for the next 25 or so years it was a book I knew I had to get round to reading, and also felt slightly guilty that I wasn’t. And then along came the iPhone! I discovered I could download the whole book onto my iphone and listen to it on car journeys. And so I did – and finally after 26 years in 2010 I managed to read (or more accurately listen) to the whole book four times! I could follow Lewis’ whole train of logic from how within our hearts and conscience we have an innate sense of a higher moral law and order who we do not measure up to right through to the unique cosmic implications of the birth, death and resurrection of the Jewish Messiah.
The second example concerns my desire to read through the Bible from cover to cover each year. The good intentions were there, but every year I would only get so far before being distracted or sidetracked by other things. This good intention has been there since 1984 as well. I kept finding myself falling behind and playing catch up or just simply giving up. Then in 2010 I found Bible reading apps! I found I could read the Bible in one year using the McCheyne Bible Reading plan. So in the morning I read the plan in the Message version from Youversion.com and in the evening I read it in the New International Version via Olive Tree. The result? In 2011 I was able to read the whole Bible twice in the year in the two different translations and I have carried on the same through 2012. I say this not to impress you, but to impress upon you how technology while it can be overwhelming also has great potential to facilitate our personal growth.
The third example relates to my long term struggle to set aside time for regular prayer and Biblical meditaton on a day by day basis. The general busyness of life and thoughts about what I needed to do (as well as what the time was and when I need to leave home!) kept on distracting me away from focus and concentrating on my time with God. And then someone made the simple suggestion of using a countdown timer. That simple suggestion has transformed my daily prayer times as I know I can give God the first 30 minutes of my day without being distracted by the things that need to be done and the general worries and activities of life. It is also a time I can completely give my thoughts to God without distraction.
How about you?
It would be great to hear how you have been able to harness technology in your own life in positive ways.
I’m sure there must be some great ideas and suggestions out there that we could all benefit from.
Please do give your responses below.