FUTURE SHOCK

Consider the blameless, observe the upright;
a future awaits those who seek peace.

Back in the dark ages when I was attending university, a term was introduced to me that truly woke me up.  The idea was passed on to me in a discussion of Alvin Toffler’s book “Future Shock”, the basis of which was too much change too fast equals stress which will eventually kill you.  Essentially you die when you cannot keep up with the technology.

I felt as an extremely young man that would never happen to me because technology at that time seemed to move slowly enough for me to grasp.  Please understand the only computer I had any experience with was the size of our sanctuary, and could only play tick tact toe and a very rudimentary game of chess.  I could even beat it at chess and I really can’t say I can play the game.

Still I was sure that I need not worry because I would always be at the forefront in my understanding of technology.
I don’t know where I lost it, but somehow I fell so far behind that I resent even turning on my computer.  I like the word processing part and I can almost handle my E-mails but after that….  It all seems so frail and for a guy who grew up with, “If it doesn’t work the first time press the button again” mentality, trouble lurks around every gigabyte corner (or should I say terabyte).

The internet can be a place where you can learn so very much, it can be likened to opening an infinite library of books with a world of understanding at your fingertips.  Conversely it can be like ripping the lid off a cesspool.  I visit it occasionally but resent the time I take there and soon shut it down.

The sanctuary sized computer of old has been replaced by a devise which is your telephone, television, day timer, alarm clock and with so many other functions that I don’t know.  Couple this with the fact that all these functions now slip into your pocket and I may just howl at the moon.  Technology and its rapid advancements have crept into all facets of life.

Even the sound board in our church has an automatic notch filer called a “Feedback Ferret” which automatically dampens and then eliminates feedback.  This along with automatic eq. and effects should eliminate half the controls they keep on the board for luddites like me.  For some reason this I can understand.

What I don’t understand are some of the trappings of the use of technology. The other day I saw three young fellows walking together all of them “texting”.  I presume they were not texting each other or I will begin making my box of pine.  The mystery for me is… if you want to talk to someone and you are walking with two other people …why not talk to them?

Another thing that begs questions is such things as Face Book.  A person recently tried an experiment and invited all his eleven hundred Face Book friends to a party.  One person showed up. Myself, I have seventy-three Face Book friends.  I wonder how quickly I would be “unfriended” if I made a heartfelt plea for a kidney?  I think I would be down to three friends who would by that time have said NO.

If God can see into our hearts then surely he must be able to see through our eyes.  Along with all the other reasons, He would have to have patience with me and my falling short with progress.  Perhaps He would be amused at this character who wants to understand things on his own terms, and at the same time is fighting understanding.

He would see and feel my love for people and the natural things in life.  He would, I hope, know how much I love individuals while allowing my fear and humour to keep them at arms length.  He might forgive an extravert his rapid sink into loneliness when alone for even a little while.  He would understand my tears, my concerns, and even my cockeyed love for Him.

Sometimes Future Shock is all too real, and my fear that it may be found to be true, play with my brain (or what’s left of it).  Still I have little doubt that there would be no need for computers in heaven.  Can’t you just see Saint Peter working with a mouse and saying “Just a minute, just a minute, oh yes here you are”!

One of my fondest images is that of walking with Jesus.  I doubt sincerely that an electronic version of the Hallelujah Chorus would sound, and Christ would reach into His robe and say “Just a minute, I have to take this”.

Future Shock in Heaven? 
Unlikely.
And at times that is a joy I cling to.

  Ted

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