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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

TV, Computer, Email, Techie Overload - What's Life Really About?

In this day and age, life is nuts. There's not much slow-time, down-time, sittin'-in-the-rocking-chair-outside-the-general-store-chattin' time. Instead, we have TV-time, computer-time, playstation-time, Wii-time, ipod-time, cell-phone-time, facebook-time, shoutlife-time, twitter-time, blog-time.

I've been pondering this quandary for a while. Since we have appeared on TV shows, my email inboxes have overflowed. And I mean o-v-e-r-f-l-o-w-e-d. Social networking and marketing are very important to any author, but how on earth can you possibly keep up? I have 9300+ email in one inbox as I write this. It's overwhelming to say the least.

But my overweight email accounts are not why I'm writing this post. People spend so much time watching TV, or on the internet, or with techie toys. I watched a seven-year-old at swim team the other day - the child had an ipod, which he was listening to in one ear, and was holding a cell phone up to the other ear. I think back to when I was seven, we didn't have personal computers, or internet, or ipods, or cell phones. I don't even remember caring about whether my clothes matched or if my hair was brushed! And that was really NOT that long ago! But I digress...

My point is that we're too caught up in our "techno" world. I'm not saying it's not useful - it definitely has a place in our lives. But, we want to be entertained. We want to be hand-delivered an answer to life's questions by text, twitter, or IM. Is that what life is really all about? How much time do we waste playing games, surfing the net, watching TV, texting, IMing, the list could go on and on? Believe me, I've thought on this a lot as I've had to invest more time into my author relations. I don't watch TV at all, and I don't play video games - but, I do have to spend a good deal of time on email, networking, marketing, etc.

That brings me to a group on Facebook that has caught my attention. It's called, "The Campaign. One Gospel. One Person. Each Week." And it's something of eternal value. Not like a game of Scramble that takes three minutes and makes you use your brain a little. It's about life. And eternity. Are you sharing your testimony? Are you reaching out to others?

I'd like to challenge you to think about that. Think about all the time you spend watching your favorite TV show or sports. Or all the time on the internet that's just wasting time (my famous author friend, Donita K. Paul, and I have come up with a name for it - "Downloafing"). How much time are you spending on something really worthwhile? It's quite the topic to consider.

"The Campaign" is doing something that I love. They are using the social networking outlet to help challenge believers to share their faith. Instead of just another silly group that spends time counting the hairs on our heads (I'm being sarcastic) - it's doing something that IS of eternal value. A challenge to all of us to remember the big picture, to remind ourselves what life is truly all about.

I wrote a song many years ago now, that is entitled "You Are." It's about everything the Lord is to me. We were on the mission field at the time, and I was struggling - no internet, no phones, no mail - I thought I "needed" contact with the outside world. God gently got my attention that day and helped me to realize that I don't really NEED anything. Think about that for a minute. I don't need friends and family. I don't need a roof over my head. I don't need food. I don't need internet. I don't need a car. Why? Without some of those things for extended periods, I may die, yes. But what happens next? What matters?

The answer: My relationship with the Lord. If I die, where am I headed? That's truly our one and only need - a relationship with Jesus Christ.

When you can grasp that, and put it all into perspective - your outlook will completely change.

So, yes, I'm challenging you. Join The Campaign on Facebook. Get out there and be willing to share your faith - which should be the most important part of your life.

We should have more groups like this - that combine our techno world with true purpose. One day at a time.