Your Eyes and Ears

In Spirit Renewal by Rachel Schultz

Your Eyes and Ears


“There’s a billion people on-line, and another billion people coming on-line in the next 10 years. Traditional media is in decline across the board. TV viewership, movie viewership, magazines, newspapers–in decline.”1

–Marc Andreessen

All forms of media technology (traditional and emerging) have one thing in common, they want our eyes and ears. It used to be easy to restrict our media exposure to when we had a few minutes to catch up on the news, or listen to a favorite musical artist on our living room stereos. Now, everything goes with us via cell phones, Ipods, and personal media players.

We are adrift in a sea of information, stimulation and data that demands our attention. Thanks to Blue Tooth, many now walk around with phone receptors strapped to their ears talking with family members or business associates as if they were in the same room. It used to be geography counted for something when it came to “bending someones ear” and being able to have their uninterrupted attention. Not any more!

I recently attended a church where, during a hymn, the organist stopped playing to answer her cell phone, then abruptly left, while the hymn was still being sung. Obviously, there must have been an emergency, and fortunately, the pianist kept playing.

The newspaper, USA Today, is extremely popular because it’s easy to read. It offers readers a “lite” version of the news, with lots of graphics and charts. Evidently we have decided we don’t have time to be bothered with details. We are content with brief blurbs, summaries and quotes. But even so, newspaper readership is on the decline. People are becoming more content to get their news via their PDAs and cell phones.

The question is, how does God fit into all of this? Does he get a piece of our uninterrupted time, or does our spiritual life amount to brief blurbs, summaries and quotes that are continually subject to interruption. In others words, do we treat God as just another information vendor, or do we give him the special preference he deserves?

1. According to Newsweek, Marc Andreessen helped launch the Internet craze while enrolled at the University of Illinois. While there, he co-wrote the first big browser (Mosaic) and went on to co-found the first big web company (Netscape). He now serves as CTO of Ning (Newsweek, March19, 2007).

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