I'm not talking about the freedom that Americans love to boast about, or that famous line in Braveheart where William Wallace screams "freedom!!" as he is being tortured. No, I'm speaking of the freedom that Jesus claims we can have. As it says in Galatians chapter 5 verse 1 "For freedom Christ has set us free".
There are many people who are distracted. The distraction of technology and devices find their way into a life that was meant for much more. Distractions become life. We move from one distraction to the next to keep our minds off of "real life". Sometimes life can scare us into the arms of a screen.
"Full life" is obeying and living out our God given purpose every day.
Instead of watching life on a screen, or perhaps watching others lives on a screen, can we actually live? I believe the answer to this question is yes. As I take what Jesus says and believe it. Rather, I try to read the words of Jesus and live them. Because living something will take us into ultimate truth.
This will allow us to practically work through and understand how truth applies to our lives, which is not on a screen. Do we believe that God will bring us full life if we commit ourselves to Him and live out what He is telling us to do?
Distractions dominate the Western culture.
Walk into almost any situation (restaurant, church, driving down the road) and we will find people locked onto something else rather than the very real world that surrounds them. The idea of human interaction for too long can actually scare people.
Think about sitting down in a group of 4-7 people. Those people are talking about different things from the weather to family. The conversation must keep going, any silences are immediately qualified as awkward. We have become a generation of awkward. Our minds and eyes must be engaged. If they aren't we often run to safety. That safety can take its form in many ways, but usually ends in some sort of screen.
I had an hour of free time the other day and decided to spend it with Jesus. My quiet times are usually filled with screens. From a computer to an Ipad, something is in my hand or in front of me as I engage with God. This particular morning, God was challenging me to go outside and leave my screen behind. It turned out to be wonderful time of prayer and refreshment.
Distractions aren't bad. It isn't sin to watch TV or a movie or to look at a phone when people are around. But, are these things taking away from the life that Jesus promises? Are those things lessoning the quality of life (when its thought to enhance it)?
My challenge to myself and the reader: Let's see if we can take time away from our screens. Can we give up our social media for a day? And, if God asks, can we give it up for longer?
Jason LaLone was on staff at YWAM Brisbane and is currently in South Africa working with YWAM. He is passionate about discipleship, taking Jesus' command to make disciples a practical reality that he can live on a daily basis. He loves lasagna, cats and used to dislike Monday's, making him most like Garfield.
Jason LaLone's previous articles might be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/Jason-LaLone.html