“Freedom” is a program I recently installed on my computer. It helps me get more work done and to better focus. In fact I used Freedom to get the first draft of this sermon written.
Freedom has one simple task: to disable my web browser for as long as I want or need it to. In other words, if I set Freedom’s clock for 60 minutes, I can’t access the internet for one whole hour. No email. No Facebook. No Twitter. No message alerts No downloading sermons to listen to. No internet radio. Not even my beloved blog. Just cyber-silence. (do people still use the word ‘cyber’?) If I want to access the internet, I have to go through the hassle of re-booting my computer. So, for that one hour, I have “Freedom.”
It’s beautifully ironic that the program is called “Freedom.” After all, the internet was supposed to free us. Now we have to be freed from it. The internet was supposed to make us more productive, it was supposed to help us better connect with each other, it was supposed re-create our lives, giving everyone access to the world, a platform for even the weirdest and most extreme views to find an audience. The internet was supposed to be democracy in action, where everyone has a voice if they chose to speak. The laissez-faire marketplace of ideas.
And it’s true. The internet is all those things. And more. But like most tech users, I let the medium redefine my life, at least what I call “freedom” The internet re-defined “freedom” on its own terms. And not only “freedom” but also words like “friends” “connections”
We’ve also let it re-define “work” and “time.” I’ll respond to email while waiting in line at the grocery store. I cruise bible commentary sites while watching football (Go Alouettes!). I’ll text in between hospital visits. I’m continuously connected, tethered to technology, always available.
It’s no wonder that I need “freedom.”
The people of Judah had the same problem. They needed freedom.
They were in the...(whole thing here)