This week I had a conversation with my dad and he is very excited about a DVD teaching series that his church is using called The Truth Project. He loves it, and that's great. I will confess that I can't look past the fact that it comes from Focus on the Family (of which I am no fan) and see what, if any, benefits it might have, particularly given its rigid definitions of "truth" and "worldview" and the equating of "postmodern" with heresy. I find it ironic that the modern perspective has decided that all that is of their generation is good, whereas the postmodern generation looks back even further to gain context. But whatever. That's another post. I know that my dad is an intelligent guy and he'll listen but will also question and he and I can probably have some good conversations about it, so there you go.
So then today comes our Friday Five challenge - modern conveniences and generational transition. It's bumpy territory, but territory that we can navigate with grace and compassion, if we so choose.
As for the questions!
1. What modern convenience/invention could you absolutely, positively not live without.
Many of them, for I am, what some would call "high maintenance" (though I prefer the word "specific"). They are, in no particular order:
- Washer/Dryer (more specifically, the guy who comes to get my laundry and brings it back to me clean)
- DVR - favorite of all time - changed my life
2. What modern convenience/invention do you wish had never seen the light of day?Why?
I'm not opposed to the cell phone, per se, but what was unfortunate for our planet was the rapid proliferation of cell phones without the development of proper cell phone etiquette. It seems as though people somehow believe that if they're on the phone they are invisible and inaudible, and that is just not the case. People have the most private conversations in the most public places. What's more, they obliviously give out very personal information very loudly and then are stunned by the incidents of identity theft. Cell phones are great for parents, single people on road trips, relationship maintenance, doing business, but dude - the world is not your phone booth.
3. Do you own a music-playing device older than a CD player? More than one? If so, do you use it (them)?
I do not. In fact, I don't own a dedicated CD player. My computer and I think my DVD player play CDs, and I do have a CD player in the car, but these days I'm all iPod.
4. Do you find the rapid change in our world exciting, scary, a mix...or something else?
I'm all about it. I was born in the early 1970s so I have only known rapid change and I'm one who tends to go with the flow on that issue.
5. What did our forebears have that we have lost and you'd like to regain? Bonus points if you have a suggestion of how to begin that process.
There was a book that came out about 15 years ago called Margin and I think that it pretty much sums it up. It was not the "In my day..." rant of a grumpy senior citizen, but rather the contemplative melancholy of a wise doctor who has seen a change in his patients over a lifetime. I think that we have lost the ability to breathe, step back, relax, contemplate, and be. Just because the world moves quickly doesn't mean we're at the mercy of its current. We are humans with the ability to make decisions and build lives and relationships. We have to make the conscious decision to be fully human which means acting and not reacting, carving out time and space for others of the species and take time to do good.
The only way I know how to start that process is just to do it. I know it can be a scary thing, but seriously, start by sittiting still for 10 seconds and build it up. It can make a world of difference and bring you back in touch with what it means to be created in the image of God.