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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Technology Blues

Are face-to-face business meetings really necessary in this age of technology? With the advent of teleconferencing and video conferencing, distance is no longer a barrier for teams located in multiple locations. Just pick up a phone, turn on a computer, and presto! Instant connection! Now, there is something to be said for talking to people in person. Nonverbal communication is an important component in any kind of conversation. So in person meetings are great…for groups located in the same geography. But that’s the point. If you’re all in the same building, the same county even, then there’s no issue. But why make someone drive 1.5 hours one way for a maximum 2 hour meeting then have to drive 1.5 hours back? Especially with all the technological advances of our day! I guess I’m just venting. I had a meeting at the Navy Yard in DC today that could have very well been accomplished via teleconference. In fact, besides putting faces with names, there wasn’t much point in my attendance. But putting faces with names and getting away from my desk was kind of nice. It was also good to see a co-worker that I had worked with until he got transferred to the team out in Annapolis. He and I worked as a team in the field a lot before the decision was made to move him. Before that, his daughter had given birth to twins, one boy and one girl. However, the twins were born with a rare genetic disorder called Zellweger syndrome. They were told it was very rare for children with this to live even one year. But God provided for their birth in the midst of this, allowing them to be born at the only hospital in the country doing research on Zellweger’s. But sometimes God’s plans are not our own. About two months ago, the little girl, Ashley, passed away after only a few months of life. By God’s grace, He allowed her birth and the short time she had with her family. And by His mercy, He brought her back to His side and ended her suffering. But for some reason beyond our simple understanding and reasoning, her brother, Thomas (Tommy), is still with his family. I got to talk with John some today and because of the uncertainty of Tommy’s life their family is celebrating Christmas in July, complete with a tree and decorations. He also talked about how his grandson loves different tastes. He said that they’ll touch a lollipop to his tongue and he loves it! John says that this is the one joy in his young grandson’s life because of the disorder; the boy loves tastes! It seems so often that we overlook the simple pleasures that God has given us in life. I read a line in a book today that stated “Nature is not primarily functional. It is primarily beautiful.” Yet how often do we miss that beauty? If “the heavens declare the glory of God…” (Ps. 19:1a), then how often do we miss God? When’s the last time you slowed down enough to smell the flowers around you? Ate a meal slow enough to savor each taste? Played with a baby and caught their infectious laughter? Took time to hold hands with your sweetheart and just enjoy their presence (one of my personal favorites)? So in retrospect, maybe the meeting wasn’t all that important. Maybe it could have been done by teleconference. But who cares? Tommy’s story puts things in perspective for me. Maybe, just maybe, I’ve been too busy to notice. Maybe you have as well. “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matt. 6:27) Take some time to slow down and enjoy life and fellowship with God. Don’t miss out on His presence just because there is a to-do list. Maybe I should pay more attention to my own musings…

1 comment:

Holly Brennan said...

Of course, at the same time, there is the flip side. We've very much allowed technology to take away our face to face time and take away the value of fine conversation. We think nothing of using Facebook, Twitter, or all these methods of communication to replace face time.

These are great, don't get me wrong. (You know I'm addicted to alL!). I think that with pretty much everything in life, there is a need for balance. Meetings that far away can be so incredibly pointless. But then, they can hold that value (which you totally recognized).

Ahhh....to have balance. If only t'were easy...