Lately, I’ve been noticing a weird trend. Maybe you have, too. It first hit me when I was in the locker room at my fitness center.
Those who know me may be amazed that I belong to a gym. You might think that the most exercise I get is pulling myself out of a chair, or the heaviest weights I lift are a quarter pound burger and large soft drink. But we won’t get into that. Let’s get back to my minor revelation at the gym.
When I was a teenager I’d go to the local Y. Back then men’s locker rooms were rough and rugged places. Manly? Yes! They’d smell of sweat and exercise; metal locker clanging shut, room-sized showers with unidentifiable stains on the floor. Just stepping in this atmosphere transported you into a “Rocky” movie. “Yo! Adrian!”
Over the years, things have changed. My gym’s locker room is clean and well lit. Patrons chat about stock tips as they help their little children get dressed after daddy/son swim time.
Times change. I can handle it. That’s life. But what struck me as odd was the two flat screen televisions hanging on the wall.
“So what?” you may say.
I simply find it interesting that men, drying off from showers or relaxing with sweat dripping from the foreheads after a hard workout, need to stay connected to a television. Have we become that “plugged in”?
So I began observing society around me, looking for signs of “connectedness”, and was amazed at what I discovered.
While picking up my son after school, I came across mobs of kids sticking wires in their ears and turning on their mp3 players; others walking in groups, yet with cell phones stuck to the side of their head, oblivious to the other students next to them.
At my local mall, televisions are conveniently placed at the food courts so that MTV types of videos can be blasting. You can even text in a request for which one you want to watch.
At the food store, parents paying for their groceries while carrying on a conversation on their cell-phone. Meanwhile, their young children are sitting in the shopping cart, eyes transfixed on a portable gaming system.
Perhaps the oddest experience I had was on a recent trip to Virginia. At a gas station, positioned right over the gas pump was…a television.
What have we come to? Do we need a constant barrage of radio or video signals to keep us going? Are we afraid of being unconnected for even a short time. For any Star Trek fans out there…Are we becoming the Borg???
Now before you think I’m advocating the tossing out of all electronic devices and a return to the days of Fred Flintstone (I wouldn’t want to drive Fred’s car. It would be hard on the feet. Though I have to admit, having a small elephant as my vacuum cleaner would be cool), let me explain my point.
Is our staying connected creating a deeper problem? Has being over-connected come between you and God? While we are feeding our brain a constant flood of stimulus are we neglecting thinking, meditating, listening for the voice of God?
Several years ago I helped out at a Youth Retreat in Wisconsin. Coming from an suburban area, I was amazed by the night sky. At midnight I headed out into an open field. The stars literally stretched from horizon to horizon, enveloping me in their twinkling lights. I’d never seen anything like it before. No interruptions from houses or apartment buildings; no street lights, masking the effect.
I stood in awe and the words of the Psalmist came to me. “Be still! Know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10)
God commands- “Be Still!” There’s something to be said for blocking out all the stimulus; disconnecting from the outside world so that you can connect with the Lord.
I urge you to disconnect for a time every day. Try it today! Find a quiet place. Pull the wires out of your ears. Turn off the television. Shut off the cell phone. Remain still and quiet. Listen for the voice of God talking to you.

Is God saying to you, “Be quiet and listen”?

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