POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan

Slow down…

A current article from the BBC News chronicles our fast paced, urbanized, consummerized, globalized cultures that keep us plugged in at all times racing to a finish line that we never reach. Describing what could be called a “Roadrunner Culture” Barry Schwartz author of In Praise of Slowness makes the following observations:

…The author of In Praise of Slowness decided to decelerate after he found himself speed reading bedtime stories to his son. He even found himself excited when he read in the newspaper a story about one-minute bedtime stories. But he caught himself: "Has it really come to this that I'm ready to fob off my son with a sound bite at the end of the day?"

…Technology was supposed to make us more efficient, he explained. But our lives are often so driven by interruptions that a recent report on "info-mania" found that the flood of e-mails was such a distraction that it cut workers IQ by 10 points.

…Choice is good, he said, but in modern, affluent societies most people are confronted with a bewildering array of choices that leads to paralysis. He said that his students sometimes become stuck in low-wage jobs because they fear making the wrong choice of career. Some professors at liberal arts colleges now joke that they "take students who would have been stuck working at McDonalds and makes them people who are stuck working at Starbucks".

I would add to Schwartz’s causes “secularization” – for prayer, solitude with God, meditation have fallen away in a secularized world. I would also add that the frenzied, fast paced life of the contemporary world infects religious believers as well – where silence, contemplation, solitude are many times foreigners to the soul of the Christian. I personally have seen the influx of technology (as one that studied Computer Science in college and continues to be a tech hobbyist) encroach upon the life of my soul – damping zeal for God and genuine piety. St. Anselm, the 11th century philosopher/theologian, has much to say to us here. Hear his words from the Proslogian:

Exhortation of the mind to the contemplation of God. It casts aside cares, and excludes all thoughts save that of God, that it may seek Him. Man was created to see God. Man by sin lost the blessedness for which he was made, and found the misery for which he was not made. He did not keep this good when he could keep it easily. Without God it is ill with us. Our labors and attempts are in vain without God. Man cannot seek God, unless God himself teaches him; nor find him, unless he reveals himself. God created man in his image, that he might be mindful of him, think of him, and love him. The believer does not seek to understand, that he may believe, but he believes that he may understand: for unless he believed he would not understand. UP now, slight man! flee, for a little while, thy occupations; hide thyself, for a time, from thy disturbing thoughts. Cast aside, now, thy burdensome cares, and put away thy toilsome business. Yield room for some little time to God; and rest for a little time in him. Enter the inner chamber of thy mind; shut out all thoughts save that of God, and such as can aid thee in seeking him; close thy door and seek him

St. Anselm of Cantebury Proslogian - Chapter 1 Prologue

Slow down, I need to hear this…Look at the breadth of the Scriptures on the concept of “waiting”

  • Genesis 49:18 – I wait for your salvation, O Lord.
  • Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
  • Psalm 31:24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!
  • Psalm 33:20 Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
  • Psalm 37:34 Wait for the Lord and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.
  • Psalm 39:7 “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.
  • Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
  • Psalm 130:5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
  • Psalm 130:6 my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
  • Isaiah 25:9 It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
  • Isaiah 26:8 In the path of your judgments, O Lord, we wait for you; your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul.
  • Isaiah 33:2 O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble.
  • Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
  • Lamentations 3:25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
  • Lamentations 3:26 It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
  • Micah 7:7 But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.
  • Zephaniah 3:8 “Therefore wait for me,” declares the Lord, “for the day when I rise up to seize the prey. For my decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out upon them my indignation, all my burning anger; for in the fire of my jealousy all the earth shall be consumed.
  • James 5:7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.
  • Jude 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
How I need more waiting and less buzzing around in my life...help us Lord.