home of course. Once at mi casa, your audio calendar reminds you to dial into a Skype prayer meeting but not before streaming the latest football highlights on your 3G phone. By the time your microwavecooked pounded yam has sent you to sleep, you have had contact with up to ten people – even internationally! Technology is truly wonderful, right? Well not exactly. See I contend that its unrelenting rise has come at a great cost. The reason why so many can still ‘afford’ it is because, like VAT, it is often hidden. Though it is true that you can ‘stay in touch’ by dialling 11-digits or with a quick search and message on Facebook, I’m not quite sold on the world being a better place when Mark Zuckerberg is in excess of £4bn better off in the seven years that Facebook has existed. Or that Nokia can generate annual revenues in excess of £35bn. I purport that these so called time-saving discoveries in fact make us impersonal, lazy time wasters (not you of course, I’m just generalising). I want to believe that advances such as these were supposed to complement social activity and meeting people face-to-face, not substitute it. But today’s truth is that we no longer take time. Not to meet or eat together as a family. Not to pause, breathe and for a moment watch the world pass by. We don’t consider that, “how are you?” is a very different question when a physical and not solely audio presence is involved. I know we’re all busy, right? Have you ever wondered why we are becoming busier when so many modern creations are designed with the intention of saving time? Microwaves, speed trains, bus lanes, mobile phones, laptops, Internet shopping, non-iron shirts and the list goes on. The misfortune is that relationships and fellowship, driven by our social network era, appears to have navigated its way onto this list. The problem is undeniable. We need fellowship! Even our Creator, as powerful as He is, craves relationship with us. You know, that deliberate interaction with those we share interests, hopes, pain, joy, purpose and beliefs with, and supposedly love and care for. Sure there is a time for a phone call, but don’t let modernism trick you into thinking that Nokia can do a job that only your presence can. I would liken that to a single mother trying to play the role of a father, or an Arsenal player donning a Barcelona
True fellowship should leave you feeling refreshed, inspired, grateful, challenged and excited. According to the Bible it sharpens. jersey. You can paper the cracks, but the test of time will always show the replacement as counterfeit and substandard. Only a man can be a father, just as only Lionel Messi and Barcelona can play football in ‘that’ way (no matter how well Arsenal fake it). Moses knew the difference. When instructed to lead his people, his condition was that God had to go (fellowship) with them (Exodus 33 v. 15). An angel, however regal or holy, would simply not do. But we know all this as we have been told. We know that where two or three are gathered, there will God be (Matthew 18 v.20). Last I checked, where God is, power shall be also. The believers in the book of Acts can testify for they devoted themselves to fellowship and resultantly, ‘the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.’ (Acts 2 v. 42-47). Now who wouldn’t want that!? And the benefits extend beyond this in case you’re wondering what’s in it for you. True fellowship should leave you refreshed and inspired. Or perhaps grateful, challenged and excited. The Bible, among many things, says it sharpens (Proverbs 27 v. 17). So l would encourage you to take a trip down memory lane; back to the time when the airwaves were not polluted by the ringing of phones. Back to when any reference to an apple or orange could only be interpreted as you talking about fruit. Back to when ‘be right back’ was typed as three words and not three letters. I concede that our technological advances have in many ways increased the quality of life; but I believe that greater efforts towards fellowship and relationship can increase the quality in life. Agree or disagree, find me @OttyWarmann.