thin lives...

I wonder how many people God created us to know.

We live in such a people-saturated society. Our interactions with other human beings is almost non-stop each day. Either by way of the internet, our jobs, television, friendships, telephone, text messaging, ipods, downloads, voice mails, emails, mail, meetings, appointments, interactions at the grocery store, ect.

I say this only because I feel that I reach a threshold inside my own soul. If I cross an unspoken line, my encounters with people become almost counter-productive. They anger me....embitter me. My eyes cross with fatigue. My mind starts to fold up into itself. I expend all my energy trying to "look alive"..."appear interested". My heart drifts into fantasies usually involving my pillow and my matress. I fight off feelings of apathy. I have little patience for rabbit trails and superfluous details causing a convesation to drag on monotonously. I dred human encounters that are on the horizon. I despise the thought of someone using me as their personal leach field. I start to get selfish in conversations noticing the unfair balance of questions and answers. I start to pick up on how often I'm listening and how infrequently people are listening to me. This selfishness starts to work its way into my perspective...I tend to become fatalistic and cynical.

So I return to my first sentence...were we created to be around people as much as we are? Were we designed to talk on a soul level with so many creatures? Can our hearts handle the watered-down nature of human interaction...the inevitable diluting of friendship that comes with multiple encounters. It seems that Jesus even maxed out at times...he would withdraw to a lonely place when people would be pressing in faster than his soul could put out. And he didn't have access to any human interaction beyond where he was currently present. No information age that transports us instantaniously to any person in the whole world. We are bombarted with incessant transferance of soundbytes...facts and feelings and conflicts and tensions and statistics and updates and letdowns....SPAM. Alot of what we are forced to engage is Spam-like in nature...things forced upon us by the nature of the culture we live in...the overpopulated, congested, closterphobic world of manic energy in the form of frenetic humans running about at a frantic pace.

"Hi, how are you?"...(interupted by someone else asking you the same question) turn, "Oh, hi...what's going on? (the other person waits to have you back...but you're quickly swallowed into a conversation you never asked to be in). How many times I'm I asked or asking, "How are you doing?" without the time or the care to really find out? Alot...we don't have time for the amount of relationships we've initiated or have been forced upon us due to the nature of living in an age of information-overload laden with piles of people coming through phones lines and satellite dishes and church foyers and coffee shops, etc. Our lives are crowed, cluttered with unprocessed stuff, unknown people...and we feel guilty that we aren't giving credit where credit is due. We aren't giving appropriate dignity to all that we are experiencing...who we are experiencing. People become objects. Life becomes homework. Living becomes trouble shooting and problem solving. And you are left to wonder what has happened to you, what is happening to you.

Again, how many things can we do, how many places can we be simultaneously before we implode. Multi-tasking has become a catch-word that is worshipped in our culture. The more the merrier. Bigger is better. We applaud break-neck speed and smashmouth aggression. We reward how thin you can spread yourself before you meltdown. We love watching the rubber band stretch to the limit just before it snaps...we want to test boundaries and push ourselves to soul-ceilings. We want to one-up previous generations with our efficiency. We want to show off our capabilities, our capacities to go beyond previously impossible barriers.

"I have 340 phone numbers in my cell phone!"..."I have 1,346 friends on MySpace."..."I have coffee appointments at 6:00am every morning of this week!"..."I'm juggling six high stakes leadership roles at the same time!"..."I'm traveling the world to meet with executives." Hmmm.

I am left to wonder what has driven us to these manic places. Our lives are thin. Our lives are tight. Our lives are diluted. Our lives are empty. And yet, we are on the go like never before. We know more. We see more. We get out more. We read more. But we are less. We have never been more "less" than we are right now as a culture.

More could be said...and I've probably confused the issue, but I can't help but wonder what unlimited access to knowledge, people, information, and congestion has really done to help us. Most humans are on the brink of breakdown, and I think alot of it could be remedied by just doing less and being more.

Don't get me wrong...I love people, but it is this very passion that many times gets me into deep do-do (no pun intended). I underestimate how much I need to simplify and down-size and download. I wonder if I was created to have a few friends, one hobby, one family, one wife, one job, one dream, one outfit, one house. I wish I was more single-minded...I think it would make me more whole-hearted.


David Cortner said…
Amen and Amen!
Jody said…
Hi Jason~
I followed a link from Ryan and Angela C. They gave me your web address, because I was looking for the words and music to the song "Awesome Love". They led our worship on Sunday morning, and as we sang that song I found myself choking back tears and felt my heart pound with the depth and sorrow of grief that I only feel when I allow myself time to revisit my grief from the death of my 4-yr old daughter, Teagan. She was killed in July 2001, and still, there are times when I feel the wind knocked out of my sails because of emotions that overwhelm me. Anyway, as we sang your song, those were the feelings that hit me again. This time it was my own guilt and shame that filled my soul. I too am a 'mixed denomination' person, seeking and striving to 'become holy' (which ties into an earlier post you wrote here...see Hebrews 10:14...I love that verse. What Christ's sacrifice did was make us Holy...but while we walk this earth, we are still 'being made holy'...) and the words of your song just melted my heart all over again.
So, I followed the link to your blog, and couldn't be happier about the process that brought me here. Thank you for seeking God with all your heart. I keep a blog and have found it is becoming a sort of 'ministry' to other people seeking the peace and contentment and faith that I have in my life. This dark, sad world has caused me more pain than most people can ever begin to imagine life can hand them...and yet I am living with joy in spite of all that. It is God in me. And now, many times, through me. I struggle with keeping to myself, as you write about here. I love my 'routine and ordinary, simple life' and yet there is so much hurt and imbalance and people chasing empty dreams, that I feel 'called' to show others that there is a different way. I have probably written more than enough here. Basically I wanted to say "thank you" for allowing God to use you and your gifts and talent with writing music and sharing your soul with others. I am forever touched... and I don't even have your full CD yet! =) I wish you all the best as you seek God and His call to be Holy and to become all He has designed you to be. The "smaller" the world gets with all of our technology, and the more people I "meet" and hear their stories, the more I understand how broken this world is, and how much we all need a Savior to make us whole again. Have a blessed Easter with your is such a special time of year- the beauty of spring! The promise of God. I love it too. I promise to be back to read more of your thoughts as you journey through life like the rest of us.
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