Good night from England


With the exponential growth of smart phone ownership – seemingly the world over – the volume of pictures taken each day must be humungous.

We were at a concert some time ago. A youthful kind of performer was on stage. The volume of music so loud one’s ears rang for a day or so afterwards. We had seats two back from the stage. And I have to admit a little discomfort. Surrounded by very young ladies in awe – or lust – of this young singing chap.

Being so close to the front, he and I made “eye contact” a number of times (or so it seemed) as he did that flirty “staring with desire” thing young men do to adoring ladies. When they are performing. Whilst the volume of screams went up, my “eye contact” squirming also increased. All in all a wonderful evening’s entertainment. Both Mrs Paul and I agreed. One we will probably not repeat too often.

But I digress …

Smart phones. So many now seem to view the world through their lens. Capturing for the future by missing the present. Recording rather than being. Seeing through rather than seeing. Checking their viewfinder rather than viewing what they find.

I read somewhere that for every God Moment we share, there should be many more we don’t. Or else we simply use God as our performing monkey. He becomes a prop to make us look godly. We are the star rather than him.

All of which was prompted by one verse:

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. John 21:25

It is a thought I take to heart. For every Batmobile sharing there are many intimate moments. For every clank of the loom so many private threads. For each blog so many more secret face times. Otherwise it is not a relationship – it is simply a less than youthful performer on a blog with the keyboard turned up far too loud. A relationship viewed only through the viewfinder. And no adoring young ladies.

John was in love. So in love with Jesus. “… the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) …” Yet John could only give us the highlights. The bits he felt would help. So much more he kept to himself.

I like John.

And that is what I value here. The fellowship and community. I guess there are performers. I guess for some God is a performing monkey. I guess there are adoring readers. I guess there are high volume keyboards. And I guess God works in ways I cannot comprehend. Doesn’t have that ringing in His ears problem I get. I guess, as with music or art or viewing life through a smart phone, God has created such a tapestry of diversity I will never fathom it all.

Which leads me to conclude with a simple thought. I love God. Just like John.

And just like John, I don’t have to understand Him. It is enough that He understands me. It is enough that He loves me.

Good night from England.

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9 thoughts on “Good night from England

  1. I LOVE this post! I may be partial, because I am one of the few people in the U.S. who does not keep her phone attached to her hip. I tend to leave it in the car. A lot. I want it for emergencies, not to be at someone’s beck and call.

    Seriously, this entire “post your entire life” culture is a bit much for me. I’m an introvert. I don’t share (display?) my life like some others are comfortable doing. I like the quiet silent me and God time that doesn’t need explaining just for the sake of talking. “Viewed only through the viewfinder,” without adoration. Priceless.

    In our society’s urgency to post the moment, we forget to live in it. Blessings, Lilka

  2. Smart phones have changed everything. I went to a concert last summer in Washington. It was great fun, but I noticed something interesting. I had seen the same artist in 2005. At that time, there were all sorts of warnings about taking pictures and the prohibition of recording devices… No copyrights were going to be infringed upon! Last summer, everybody in the place had their iphones out taking pictures and recording videos, and the artist even suggested the best time to hit “record”

    I’ve always thought I should have lived in the 19th century. They had a much better sense for the difference between what should be public and what should be private than we do now. Why, they even talked and had conversations in those days!

    • Had the same thought at the concert we enjoyed. However, I am confident that this generation will be equally baffled by the next – just as my parents were by those of my younger days. It may be the reason we keep reinventing God. The previous generation knows nowt about owt.

      (if you need a translation just let me know?) 🙂

  3. Beautiful. So much we do not know. It is HARD -(sometimes) to not seek desperately the answers – I guess it depends on the where we are looking and WHAT we are seeking – or rather WHO we are seeking.
    In the past – I wanted to write this book you see- a book about ALL the enigmatic and amazing moments and things that have occurred through life to reveal mysteries to me. Somebody told me that because it is like a bush – expanding ever larger like our universe.. and NOT linear like a story – that it would be impossible to convey in words…
    THAT story – the whole story that is my life is not mine to share in any other way than to live it.
    Though words are powerful and images are too – they can never – ever express as much as would be needed to tell the story/journey of our souls.
    Thank you for this reminder Paul.
    (I keep thinking I would like to take the teen to a concert… hmmm… I am THINKING – I may be beyond that, and though I wish I was not – the reasons stand out)

    • “THAT story – the whole story that is my life is not mine to share in any other way than to live it.”

      My turn: I like the way you think. When pondering the relating of wonder, I am reminded of a wise phrase “you had to be there” – so many instances where being there was being in wonder. So many instances where sharing would be to dilute that wonder. Make it ordinary. I find He is the best editor. Never shy of saying a simple “no”. Not even when I protest. Yet never with anything other than love. He is one cool Dude!! 🙂

      • – All should know this – is my struggle. I have to keep reminding myself it is not my job alone to save the world. In fact – it is not my job. It is finished right?
        Just need a swift kick up (oops this is not my blog) every now and again as a reminder.
        oookay – the branches are spazzing out my brain of things I could write here – all the little tick tocks going on…
        SO I will leave it at – thanks for the connection in the light. The desert gets real cold and dark sometimes. Amazing how just a drop… can quench the thirst 🙂 Thank for being a vessel to carry it too me. COOL STUFF!!!

      • “The desert gets real cold and dark sometimes. Amazing how just a drop… can quench the thirst”
        I was talking about this bloggy stuff ages ago to another bloggy character, and what came from that conversation was the communion here. Not the being right or wrong, nor the am I writing good stuff, nor even the stats. Just the community and conversation the comments. The learning and connection, the relationship and real.
        It changed my perspective of comments: sometimes brief – sometimes long – sometimes in message – and sometimes off at a tangent. There seems to be an etiquette not to “comment bomb” another’s post. And as with all things relationship I will “feel my way” to where the right place is. Yet when the word-count in any comment goes up and up and up – I always think community, relationship, and fellowship of the most wonderful kind.

        Amazing how just a drop can quench the thirst? Amen!!

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