Friday, 16 December 2011

Multi-tasking: virtue or vice?

I watched an hour long documentary last night entitled 'Digital Nation'. It was originally created back in February of 2010. If you would like to watch the same you can find it here, Digital Nation It begins by observing some tests conducted at MIT and Stanford so it isn't written by Luddites! The tests showed that among those who prided themselves most on their multi-tasking internet lives were not multi-tasking nearly as well as they thought and that such multi-tasking evidenced significantly slower rates of function, memory disorganisation and were worse at analytical reasoning. This may all have deep significance socially but I am more interested in its possible effects on our devotional lives.

Perhaps it is significant that one of the Biblical opposites for 'evil' is 'single'. "The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Luke 11:34 KJV." and the Psalmist makes his own intention very plain; "Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Psa 119:34 KJV"

There are times then when our Salami-slicing abilities really work against the concentration that God is desiring. God can never be satisfied with the kind of Christianity which regards the spiritual life as an interesting add-on to all the other things we are doing. There are times when everything else has to stop and we give ourselves to God alone. "Be still, and know that I am God: Psa 46:10 KJV"

The internet and modern technology are great tools for acquiring data, even Biblical data, but there is more to relationship than data. I discovered many years ago that what I learn quickly I tend to forget quickly but the disposition which marinates in the word and presence of God will add flavours to the character that will never be available to those who are 'hooked on tronics' and its instant solutions.

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