A couple of months ago I had a meeting with a consultant who works with executives in a number of industries and disciplines. As our conversation turned to the state of business in America he said, “The problem is that no one knows how to think anymore. The cell phone, email, Twitter; they are all so distracting that no one thinks and because they don’t think they make poor decisions.”
I think he was surprised when he found that I agreed with him. The msnbc.com article referenced in my previous post describes a firm that has instituted “quiet time”. No emails, no phone calls – just think and do your job. It also relates a story about an employee who checks his email only twice per day – and how this person is not only actually getting work done – he is somewhat sane.
Quiet time has long been a concept among Christians, but recent observations indicate that we’ve jettisoned the idea. There is a “ministry” that will call you throughout the day with a Bible verse, you set the schedule and it calls, and if you can’t answer it will leave the Bible verse on your voice mail. I wonder if this is what David had in mind when he wrote of meditating on the Law of the LORD? There are a number of other “time-saving” devices to help us read Scripture, pray, etc. – but what is wrong with this picture? Jesus Christ doesn’t call us to a data dump, He calls us into a relationship.
A few months ago I checked the website of a professor and writer who I appreciate, he has done quite a bit of work in the area of spiritual formation. I was amazed that he was promoting his “tweets.” I really couldn’t believe it. I thought, “What message is this sending about spiritual formation?”
Now I realize you might think I’m nit-picking and maybe even judgmental – but I don’t make the observation judgmentally, and I know there are things in my life that need adjusting, but I do suggest that if short attention spans and addiction to outside stimuli are significant threats to growth in Christ that Christian leaders ought to give their modes of communication some thought. And yes – I admit that blogging can be suspect as well.