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When Satan Calls

Businessman devilFew people set out wanting to do evil.  So how does evil happen?

Most evil begins with the desire to do good.  But when we don’t recognize where good ends and evil begins, then we’re bound to cross the line between them.

Something about a certain road paved with good intentions.

But the most insidious kind of evil is the kind that continues to masquerade as good long after we’ve crossed the line.  This is the favorite device of Satan, one that we usually recognize too late, after we have everything we wanted… and we’re stuck with it.

We’ve embraced the information revolution, which has so efficiently opened the floodgates of knowledge that we’re now drowning in a sea of pseudo-facts and misinformation.  We’ve embraced the communication revolution, which has so thoroughly created lines of connection that we are more deeply disconnected than ever from one another and from reality.

Now that correspondence is effortless, we often leave emails unopened and, even more often, unanswered.  Now that recorded messages are a click away, we’re too distracted to check our voice mail.  We think it’s rude to call without texting first, and we consider it rude to end a text with a period.

We click to the next page only halfway through the current page, and we escape exposure to ideas that make us uncomfortable because mysterious algorithms are filtering the information that reaches us.  And when unpleasant news does make it through the gauntlet of ideological censorship, we sink into a morass of emotional angst and cry out against a world that defies our comprehension.

Satan is laughing all the way to the motherboard.

But not everyone is deceived.  There’s a growing, grassroots movement to observe a technology Sabbath, to unplug in order to turn on and disconnect in order to reconnect.  No phones, no computers, no videos, no texting.

Does that sound horrifying?  Impossible?  Cruel and unusual?

Convince your friends and family to try it.  Pull a dusty book of the shelf and remember what it’s like to feel what you’re reading.  Go to the park, play softball, plan a progressive meal with friends and neighbors, enjoy a family game night.

Feel the technology toxins flow out of your body.  Once the shock wears off, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start it years ago.  And when you start the new week, you’ll be more rested, more relaxed, more focused, and the envy of your coworkers.

And then you’ll wonder how you will make it all the way to your next Sabbath.

What do you mean, “You don’t have a cellphone”?

shutterstock_178135241I’ve always known this day would arrive. But it lay too far off in the future to worry about.

I sat safely atop my own personal promontory, even as the tide surged forward to swallow lesser souls who tested the waters and were lost.

But you can’t stop a tsunami.  The Day of Reckoning is at hand.  And even if I can hold out a little longer, after all these years of holding out now I feel like I’m selling out.  It’s hard to even articulate the words.

Still… here it goes.  It may finally be time to get a cellphone.

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