The heavens are telling of the greatness of God and the great open spaces above show the work of His hands.
— PSALM 19:1 (NRSV)
Intentionally living in the so-called “you don’t want to go there” neighbourhood of Toronto, Dan Buggie, Pastor of Lightpoints at Jane and Finch has a new perspective on life when seen through the eyes of youth:
“Through meeting some of the moms whose teenage boys are being mentored here, I’ve come to hear of their way of life back in South Africa. Despite the apparent lack of modern Internet technology in their homes there, they nevertheless had a strong realized sense of community and togetherness which here, we have “virtualized” through Facebook and other digital apps.
These moms are finding it hard to cope with the isolation and individualism that they see and experience here, being in a big city for the first time.
Once, while taking the youth on a biking adventure, I was amazed by, and reminded of, how important a sense of wonder is in discerning God. Each time these youth would observe a bird or other animal, they would be inspired to praise God and marvel at his greatness in designing creation.”*
That sense of wonder is certainly hard to capture when we are hunched over our smartphones, trying to catch up on the latest news of the virtual world. “One has to ask the question, have our lives become so virtually busy that we have missed the opportunity to engage together in real face-to-face encounters with God’s creation?”
Misplaced wonder leads to wander. Instead of being enamoured with increased “memory” and “data storage,” let’s increase our memory and devotion to the reality that his memory is our salvation and security. Only as we behold him face-to-face in true faith will the fog of our diversions turn into the fire of delight in his purposes to reclaim, redeem and restore broken and ruined lives.
Consider this unique perspective: “We don’t need more time for Facebook; what we really need is to book more face-to-face time.”
1. Consider taking a week-long or even merely a one-day fast from media. What would a Christ-centred, Spirit-empowered, Mission-focused life look like without being virtually connected?
2. In what ways can I book face-to-face time with others in order to recognize, enjoy and regain a sense of wonder in God’s creation?
*Dan Buggie’s blog post Through the Eyes of Youth can be found at seatosea.net/new-ventures/ lightpoints-at-jane-and-finch/news.