Disconnected

“He was one of the most supremely stupid men I have ever met. He taught me a great deal.” ― John Fowles

I’m walking across my college campus. From my office to the classroom today takes me from one end of the university grounds to the other. All along the way I get to watch our student population move. Some are moving from class to class, others are meeting with friends, a few are heading off to a part-time job. Lots of movement between class times. Every other person has their head bent down, intently focusing their gaze on that ever present cell phone.

Today it’s raining.

What consistently amazes me semester after semester is the number of students who appear completely unprepared for the weather. The predicted rain happens all week and barely an umbrella or jacket to be seen. We don’t have much in the way of winters down here in Houston, but there are times when a cold, wet freeze will blow through. I will bundle up and walk to class and pass up students wearing their current “uniform” of gym shorts and flip flops. (I sometimes wonder if the males on my campus even own a pair of long pants?)

There were a few art students today making their way through the drizzle with very large charcoal drawings – waving about in the wind and wet. Nothing covered up from the elements – all that work running off in puddles.

Here’s the irony of it all. As connected as these college students are to their cell phones and the gateway to information that these provide, they remain ever in the dark about the most basic information available to everyone. The most connected generation in the history of mankind – connected to information at a the swipe of a finger – remains as disconnected as ever when it comes to some of the basics; weather, directions, history, news, popular culture, etc.

Ease of access does not always guarantee better use of resources. My students are walking across campus with their noses inches from the cell phone, yet they have no idea about the weather forecast. Their dress gives them away.

Is there a larger lesson here?

What about me? I have access to God instantly. I can find help at a moments notice. I don’t need to waste another day worrying.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews :16)

I wonder if I’m living out an ironic sort of Christian life?

Knowledge, relationship, understanding, peace, are all right there as I turn and approach the Maker of Heaven and Earth. Instead, I typically muddle through each day carrying around a bag full of fear, worry, stress and pride. These leave me completely unprepared for any normal day of weather that usually occurs.

By weather I mean; failures at simple things, angry people, uncertainties about the future, boldface lies, arguments with loved ones, and bad habits that never go away. To name only a few examples of social meteorology that can rain down.

“A forecast can be wrong, but not the weather.”  ― Marty Rubin

It’s not necessary to trudge through the weather unprepared, with wet feet, windblown hair and a chill that stays all day. Yet I have spent weeks in “bad weather” just because I never approached that throne of grace. Maybe I was too busy filling up sandbags? Or was I over-involved in the crisis of the day, windblown out of my spiritual senses?

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”  (Matthew 11:28)

It looks like rain. It’s always right over the horizon. Don’t you need to stay dry? How about coming in and finding some shelter? I think I hear your phone buzzing…

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2 thoughts on “Disconnected

  1. I also worry about my students not being aware of their present. They stand near me, maybe we are in a face to face conversation, but they are really in several e-conversations. They think they are communicating well with me, but after several repeated questions, I give up. Also, they seem to not realize the beauty and grandeur around them, unless it is on their screen. Sadly, middle aged adults may actually be more guilty of the “here-but-not-present’ syndrome.

    Like

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