Monday, February 15, 2016

We are settlers

You may have seen the Direct TV commercials with the family known as the "settlers". They are a hyperbolic 19th century family stuck in a cul-de-sac neighborhood of the 21st century. With Amish overtones, the term settlers refers to their commitment to stay mired in the backward world of cable television in lieu of the progressive and better world of satellite TV. The commercials are hilarious and creative for sure. And I like them a lot.

But lately I've been reading about people ditching their smartphones and going back to rotary landlines. I have friends that text me when they date their wives saying "I'm going dark", referring to their shutting down the smartphone. It seems as if there's a rumbling of rebellion to the incredible technological advances we have seen and embraced over the last decade. Maybe its all the talk of AI and robots taking over the world, just read the Drudge report for a few days, you'll see it.

I grew up with little to no technology in a small town in NC. We had TV...3 channels on a good day. I was the remote control...."Hey boy, go change the channel".   Most of my days were spent outside, in the woods and playing in creeks and I was blissfully unconnected with the world. Today, I can hear about a bank robbery in Sri Lanka over my twitter feed.

Some days and I'm finding them more frequent I get nostalgic for simpler times. I feel some days that all the gadget stuff that we have that has been designed to make life easier actually makes life more complicated.

I suppose that's why I've found myself ordering books. I take my actual Bible to church too. It has actual paper pages and I write in the margins with an actual pen.

After watching one of the settlers commercials today, I actually thought..."Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to have a simpler existence." What if our days as families were centered around conversation instead of what was the latest thing to come across our Facebook timelines?

What if we got more creative with the way we kept ourselves busy in the lives of others?

What if we were simply content and our 1st world problems vanished?

An EMP device or a crafty computer hacker could make that a realty. What would happen? Well, the settlers would be just fine.

There's a lot to be said about contentment. Not living in a comfort zone mind you, because I believe God calls us out of that every day. But contentment as Paul put it in Philippians is something different!

12 I have experienced times of need and times of abundance. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment,8  whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing. 13 I am able to do all things 9  through the one10  who strengthens me.

Paul tells us he has learned the secret of contentment! What's the secret... Whether I have smart phones or basic cable, whether I have a Food Lion to get food or must hunt for it every day, whether my heat is rocking at 72 or I have to figure out how to shelter my family and build a fire....these things are not the source of my source is Christ Jesus, who never changes and always supplies me the ability to live despite circumstances, when life is easy or when life is hard.

If that is settling, then consider me a settler...I still have my foot stomping! (see the commercial for that reference)

Go live well today

All for now...more to follow

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