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On Life Without a Computer, Part 2 #firstworldproblems


In continuing with thoughts on life without a computer, here’s another thought:

#2 Computers can be idol feeding grounds.

This one goes hand in hand with the first issue about “spare” time.  So read Part 1.  Otherwise this won’t make sense.

As I started to see how off-base my outlook on time was because my “spare” time activities had quite suddenly fallen off the face of the earth with the death of a computer, I saw how directly that translated into somehow feeling a bit empty and disconnected from the world.  At first I denied the thought.  It seemed some pathetic.  How could my happiness and fullness of life be so heavily tied to Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter?  But it was true.  D-r-a-t.  For those first few weeks of computerlessness, not being able to see Instagram pictures of what my friends were having for dinner was a travesty.  Terrible that I wouldn’t be able to know what new guitar pedals were hitting the market.  Lame that I couldn’t see what new viral videos were out, let alone be able to google if they were edited or not.  And absolutely unthinkably sad that I couldn’t keep tabs on all of my friends’ Gchat statuses.

It took some praying and thinking to realize that not only was my view of “spare” time going to need to change, but that also I had significant idols in my life that I had let creep into my life via my anti-glare 14.1 inch screen.  Some were established idols that were simply being reinforced by my computer use, while others of these idols were more abstract concepts that took a bit of extra effort to identify.  Whichever of the two categories these idols fell under, they were painfully and pitifully obvious when my computer kicked the digital bucket.

Stacks of evil. Yargh.

Let me explain.  Some of these idols– guitar gear, music, blogs, TV shows, shopping, games, and many other tangible or clickable things– seem to have been there “all along” for me.  I’ve known that they’re struggles.  I’ve been in discouraging uphill battles with them, and I’ve been in overly-determined crusades against them.  Now that my computer was gone, I could see with 20/20 clarity that these idols were receiving daily reinforcement from my computer.  No wonder I hadn’t seemed to be able to conquer them.

On a less tangible (and perhaps more important) level, I began to also see that I greatly idolized some conceptual things.  Abstract. Weird.  Overanalyzing?  I thought maybe so at first.  But I’m glad I decided it wasn’t (although it’s still fully possible that I’m absolutely crazy to my peers and have theoretical theory oozing out of my ears).  This second type of idols took quite a bit of processing, and like the first type, is still very much an ongoing war in my life to this very moment as I sit here typing.  These things were manifested in my everyday “spare” time activities, but were incredibly difficult to pinpoint because of their abstract nature.  Gaining respect and popularity, via statuses and posts.  Being entertained, by hilarious and interesting and amusing and brain-tickling but… ultimately pointless articles and videos.  Constant communication, by talking with everyone via social media and chat.  So on and so forth.

I’m hoping you thought this: none of those things are really all that bad in and of themselves.  But when they become idols?  Things that crowd out and overshadow… no wait..  that compete, even remotely with my affection for the my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?  Then yes, they’re bad.  They’re terrible.  They’re idols.  They are objects of my sinful idolatry.

Over time, I had let my computer become an idol feeding grounds.  I had let firmly established idols take big bites out my heart, and more elusive idols nibble away at whatever the could.  I let them eat away at my time, mental strength, physical strength, and resources by simply being in front of the computer for more than I should have been.

Like I said, this is still something I’m constantly waging warfare against in my life.  Idols of both types rise to the top incessantly in my sinful heart with or without a computer, but the grace and power of my Lord God has helped me to fight them.  Killing these areas of sin is the ultimate goal.  With or without a computer.

It’s just that not having a computer for a good while helped me to see these idols a bit more clearly and convincingly.

I know it seems like we’re ending up in the same place as yesterday… computers are evil.  True.  Just kidding.  We’ll get to the part soon enough where everything balances out a little better!

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