A few weeks ago, my wife and I saw the movie The Social Network, which is about the life of the inventors of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and his Harvard friends. In 2003 after running the website from their dorm room, they decided to expand. They quickly received huge investment funds, widened their audience, hired more staff, and became an instant internet sensation.
Pretty soon these college kids were accelerating on the gas pedal, raking in members by the thousands. Originally the site was exclusive to Harvard, but then it reached out to other big name universities like Yale, Columbia, and Stanford. As Zuckerberg and company took residence in the bay area of northern California, Facebook became a national movement. Today Facebook span continents, and is wrapped around the entire globe.
I joined Facebook shortly after I came to Torrance. Marlou joined a bit later, but we both are big enthusiast and daily users. It is a way to network, to keep up and communicate instantly, to post electronic pictures albums, to form groups, and just read what’s on our friends’ minds at a given moment. The downfall is we may spend too much time at that site, parked in front of the screen.
Though Zuckerberg claims that there are inaccuracies, the film does capture and convey the spirit and speed of our ever fast moving society. Zuckerberg and his staff are always trying to stay ahead of the game by adding features to the website design, tinkering and tweaking, voraciously grabbing more and more members and viewers. The greed of hauling internet traffic, the obsessive and compulsive human consumption of information, and the hyper stimulation that this website generates can be very addicting.
Lent is a time for tempering the appetites, quelling the constant impulses. Lent is a time to tone down the hyperactivity, to take time to stop and think, to reflect, to journal, to pray more. If we find ourselves on hyper overdrive, we need to put on the brakes, slow down, and cruise at low speeds.
Gracious and merciful Lord, you call us to be still and to know that you are God, to taste and see that you are good, and to meditate upon your law day and night. Let us take the time to decompress and to carve out some down time. As we step off the treadmill of life, and take a time out from the rat race, help us to soak and bask in your peace. Allow us to say no to the constant barrage of demands and to decide to lower our heart rates and blood pressure. Fill us with a sense of contentment, help us to tune into joy, and allow us to rest in your shade from the sweltering and searing heat of high expectations. Enable us to recover a sense of balance, a centeredness, and a soulfulness as we momentarily become a minimalists.
—Pastor Bob L. Isip
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