What a difference a week makes! The second week of school was much better than the first. The kids have settled into a routine with practices, games, homework ... "the parents" like the routine!
This year is different for us. The school provided Mac Books to each student in middle school and high school. This changes the dynamic in our home. The kids sit on the sofa, noses pressed to the screens of their laptops, furiously facebooking or i-chatting with their friends. They take these "precious communication devices" everywhere with them. It's their social connection to the world. They rush through meals, inhaling the wonderful meal their Dad has prepared just to get back to the laptop.
It's not just about the kids, oddly enough. While they are "Mac-booking," their dad or I are usually on our laptop, tablet or Android phones "doing OUR thing ... emailing, fantasy football, etc." I picture what it would look like if someone walked in and saw us all sitting in the same room, not speaking or interacting with each other ... how silly we must look. Even I will admit, it has changed the style of communication and drawn attention away from things that are more important.
While technology has made our lives easier (we use the cell phones for shopping lists, GPS, texting the children), in some respects, it has made them more difficult. It has changed the way our children write and speak to others. They feel like they cannot function without the internet and now, they NEED their laptops to accomplish their classwork at school and their homework.
Many things have come along through the years that have affected the way we worship and interact with the Lord. These new technologies and types of worship have almost become a distraction. My own cell phone rang during church a few weeks ago ... I was embarrassed.
People now attend church and expect to be entertained ... they tweet during the service! You can find a tab on church websites called "media" and download a podcast of the sermon. I really miss the days when going to church was all about Jesus and not about being entertained and/or how much technology you can incorporate into your worship service (or our home).
Have these technologies become idols? Most definitely ... what do we sacrifice to these new idols? Time, family, communication, money, respect ... the list is endless.
My stepdaughter asked her classmates which they would rather give up ... a foot or the internet? The concensus was each student at her lunch table would rather lose a foot. Now, really, no one is going to sacrifice a limb, but perhaps this is a good "wake up call." We need to go back to what's really important and focus on what real sacrifice really is ... ouch! ... not a foot or the internet, but laying ourselves on the altar and making God the center of our homes once again ... not the Mac Book.
1 John 5:21
... guard yourselves from idols.