Reckless Pursuit: Ch. 11 – That’s Incredible

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Have you ever considered just how much our world has changed because of these incredible devices? When I think about it, the word “phone” falls significantly short to what they really are. They function with more capacity than the laptop my wife bought me 13 years ago. And they don’t ever resemble those big, cumbersome cell phones we used to carry some 10 years ago. They are amazing little computers that keep us connected to our friends, keep us up to date on what’s happening in the world, keep us in the know about what our kids are doing, and of course – keep us entertained.

But sometimes, I question their role in our lives. Sometimes I wonder if they really make our lives easier…better. No, I’m not one of those over zealous anti-technology guys. I love seeing what the next thing will do (actually shared an idea with Kristen last night about a computer display that I’ve never seen before but except to see soon – I’m sure somebody much smarter than me has already thought of it). But for all the advancements, for all the apps and toys our phones have – are our lives really that much better? Are they less complicated? For all the extra connections we have, do we really have more authentic relationships? Are we personally engaged with people more?

Is it possible that all of this technology has actually lessened our intimacy? That it has multiplied the number of people we are exposed to while at the same time pushing us away from the most significant relationships? Is it possible that our phones have actually become a barrier to authentically connecting to people?

When was the last time you were heading into a deep conversation with someone and right as they begin to open up, you said, “Hang on. Let me take this for a minute.” and you answer your phone or check a text? Or have you found yourself finally on a date with your spouse, one that is long over due, and halfway through dinner you realize that you haven’t even been able to talk because of all the interruptions? Is this really better?

There’s a way to use this technology and not be controlled by it. To be plugged in but not distracted. To be connected but not constantly available. To embrace the tools available, while still being relational, authentic and intimately present.

That is a life that’s better. A life I want to grow more toward. A life I live in but need to protect more intentionally. But sometimes, the interruption is needed. Even ordained.

The following is a snapshot excerpt of the upcoming book…

Reckless Pursuit: God’s Story of Relentless Love – Chapter 11: That’s Incredible

It was Christmas and we had driven ten hours south to Tomball, Texas (a suburb of Houston) to spend the holiday with Kristen’s family. It had been an exciting but hectic fall, completely immersed in ministry and Christmas was going to be a much needed break. As usual, Kristen’s entire family descended on her parents’ house. The joy of family was tangible. Laughter and food dominated the atmosphere.

At the time, Brady and Reagan were the only children in the family and we all enjoyed being entertained by them into the early evening. However, as the evening grew late, we put them to bed and the real fun began. We pulled out the dessert, gathered around the kitchen table for a card game and partied late into the night. The next morning was more of the same. Lots of family time in the kitchen, with little other agenda than moving from one meal to the next throughout the day.

Then, the phone call.

It was a call I never wanted to receive. One that I couldn’t have been prepared for. One that would change me and so many others is countless ways.

Reckless Pursuit is currently being prepared for publishing. It will be made available to the public early this fall. Keep coming back here for more updates and teasers.

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Communicating with God

Tech stuff has always been fascinating for me. I enjoy checking out my friends’ new computers, video games and phones. Speaking of phones, I am continually amazed at the seemingly endless production of new apps that keep hitting the market. There is truly one for everything! But for the most part, I have seen all of these advances as luxuries…even clutter.

I enjoy a simple, slow-paced, relational way of life. I would much rather sit down with a friend face to face than to send them an e-mail, Facebook post or text. One of my favorite things in all the world is experiencing what happens when authentic connections are made. Like the relationships that are built when people share their lives over a meal. Acceptance. Friendship. Intimacy. It’s a great way to live!

Question: In a world full of blogs (like this one), tweets, texts, voice mails, news bulletins and on and on…Is it possible to really have deep, uninterrupted connections with people? Are we so socially available through media that we are no longer available personally?

I’ve wrestled with this for quite some time. I have resisted getting a twitter account and have purposefully limited my time on Facebook. I have operated with an engagement philosophy of, “If I am with someone, I am not available to anyone else” – of course with one exception…my wife!

If you are reading this blog, then you have noticed I have recently opened myself up to using these social media tools more actively. But as I do, I am attempting to function out of one driving principle: “Communicate with people, not with media!” People’s hearts are still first. True relationship is still the goal. Authentically loving them is still the key.

As we live in and experience this busy, cluttered world that bombards us with new possibilities every second, we cannot lose sight of God’s heart. That people are his greatest love. As Jesus followers, we must keep this perspective. If we do, every time people communicate with us – whether in person or on-line – they will find themselves encountering the truest heart of all. And through us, they just might find themselves communicating with God!