I have it back! I have my lovely shiny sleek computer back on its desk in the corner of the room, and it’s working.
I’ve been so shocked by how much I missed my Mac while it was undergoing repair. I realise now that ALL my life is tied up with this machine… without it I couldn’t study, or look up an online concordance, or zoom anyone, or Skype my writer friends, or read the online paper (couldn’t log into anything on my phone – no passwords!), or write the treatment that’s due tomorrow, or prepare for the script meeting that’s also tomorrow, or write up last week’s sermon, or complete a photography project or… you know… just be busy. Kid myself that I’m a busy old beaver. It was surprising that even when my no-computer schedule involved a dozen errands and cakes to bake and deliver, the day was still half empty. And it was a total bummer to realise that I now can’t concentrate on what I’m reading for more than an hour at a stretch – when did that happen? Do I need the quick click of the mouse to keep me alert? Has my brain deteriorated that much?
And all the people shouted “Yes, your brain is rubbish.”
Oh, hush. You all know me too well.
This computer has to stop being a substitute for real life, but how?
That’s my thought for today, that’s what’s niggling at the back of my mind. Last week I was asking myself if there was anything I would not be willing to give up for God…. is this my answer? Would I be willing and able to give up this Mac, this online life? Without going completely barmy, I mean. Here I am, reading a book on the monastic life, and I can’t even face 4 days without a computer! Some contemplative I am.
I’m not feeling contemplative because I’ve been watching TV, far far more than usual. I’ve worked in TV for 35 years but if this is a window on our world right now, it’s a sad and heart-breaking view that it reveals. A world where entertainment is murder after murder, rape after rape of (mostly) women, disguised as who-dunnit or why-dunnit dramas. TV pretends to explore the twisted and malicious lives of serial killers and sociopaths, while neglecting the true and inspiring stories of good and selfless people, so that it portrays the human race as irretrievably carnal, saturated by evil. Our TV screens explode with the cheap, the tawdry, the sexually explicit, the gratuitously graphic, the prurient. They celebrate a society where sexual congress is as fleeting and as meaningless as a sneeze, where nothing is perversion as long as it serves our demand for instant gratification, where there are no consequences beyond this week’s episode of any soap opera, where the word ‘God’ is qualified by obscenities, where every desire and inclination of man is commercialised, sold, offered, bargained, promised. Where there is no shame, no personal responsibility and where morals are to be pitied and dismissed. This is the world we are passing on to our children. This is where my three granddaughters, where your grandchildren, and their children, and on and on, will grow up. This is what they have to swim through, this sea of excrement and cruelty and selfishness, as they search for the meaning of their lives.
This is what we have made of the beautiful world that God has given us. This is what we have done with the minds and hearts he has created.
And all we can do is pray, and light a lamp, and tell the world that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Grim? Yes, tonight I feel a bit grim. And it does no one any good to pretend that the world is as it should be. Honesty. We need more honesty. Where is it to be found?
You know my greatest sorrow and guilt and grief? One that I can’t think about much because it really breaks my heart? It’s a socially unacceptable thing to say, but I am going to say it: my greatest grief is that we have , going on all around us, at all times, day and night, the murder of the unborn. Slaughtered embryos. Millions of lives ended in surgeries, operating theatres, chemically, in back streets…. and most because the birth of these children would inconvenience the parents. This is the worst obscenity because this has become a political matter, and to speak this way is unacceptable. To say ‘Let us instead make it possible for these children to live, and to be loved.’ is unacceptable. Madness.
I think I will probably delete this blog pretty soon because as I write it I am growing …. something. I don’t know… upset. Angry. . But for now, I need to say it.
Well, while I ponder that, and take it to God, alongside the tough stuff there is still beauty and grace. Here’s a photo I took this morning, between rain and hail showers here in West Wales, and it just sings a truth from Psalm 19
Oh, hang on, the King James version says it so well….
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.