I grew up in a small town, in a time when being outside was mandatory unless there was some important reason you had to be inside. Eating, sleeping and going to church were the primary reasons to come inside, and even those times were optional if the weather was nice. Small Georgia towns like West Point, and many rural towns in the south, haven’t changed much since I was a boy. Being outside is still important to many kids and their parents.
Technology is quickly changing that though.
Internet service, video games and cell phones are weaving their way into even the most remote homes and time spent being outside is being replaced by time spent being connected. Sometimes I wonder whether this change is good or bad, or if it’s just “change” and maybe I spend too much time reminiscing.
Most of my adult life has been spent in the computer and technology field. I began writing programs before the Internet was ever heard of. The first computer I owned used a telephone line to connect to the early beginnings of the Internet, and my first cell phone was built into a brief case and had to be connected to the car to be used. We have all seen the world of technology grow by leaps and bounds in recent years, and anyone born within the last 20 years has never known of a world without the Internet and information right at your fingertips. This makes me wonder:
How many of those born in the last 20 years have ever spent the night under the stars and awoken on a frosty morning to see the sun rise over a pond as smooth as glass?
How many have had the opportunity to watch a family of deer feed through a field as the last rays of sun settle over the treetops?
How many of us ever just unplug from the world we have created and sit and enjoy the world God created?
Disconnecting can be a little unsettling at first. What if someone needs to get in touch with me? What if that important Amazon order I just placed gets put on backorder and I don’t get the email asking if I would like to order from a different seller? How will I ever know what the weather will be like next Wednesday without my Weather Channel app? Yes, disconnecting can be difficult, but the payoff can be spectacular. Our Lord God created the most beautiful masterpiece in the universe and we have the opportunity to witness it almost any time we choose. The colors alone can be staggering to the eye. The bluest of blues, and the most awe inspiring yellows and oranges can be seen nearly every morning and night if we just look up from our phones. The smell of damp leaves and freshly turned earth can be sweeter than the most expensive perfume. The sounds of the birds singing and the wind blowing makes the most terrific symphony ever written if we just stop and breathe for a minute.
In Genesis 1:26 we read,
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
There was a time in my life when hunting and fishing were one of my great passions. I fed myself, my family and many friends with the fruits of my hunting. It also fed my heart because I could enjoy all that God had created. I don’t get the opportunity to go hunting very often any more, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t take the time to enjoy His creation. Any time I have the chance to be outside I go! If it’s for ten minutes, or ten days, I go and I replenish my heart and my mind with the beauty of this creation. In those moments, when His splendor is close enough to touch, I feel as though I am standing right next to Him. It never fails to amaze me. Our God is the greatest and His vision is so awesome that we will never fully understand it.
I encourage you to unplug. Disconnect from this world whenever you get the chance and reconnect with God through His wondrous creation.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1)
Director of Technology Infrastructure and Services