Monday, April 4, 2011

"Time-Saving" Devices

I have been reading Michael Bunker's book "Surviving Off-Off Grid" and it is revolutionizing my thinking.  I am not even 1/4 of the way through the book and my mind is already spinning.  The information in the book makes sense, but a lot of it is contrary to how I have been taught to think, even in our Christian circles.  Three years ago I would have dismissed the book as radical and never would have even read it, but God has slowly been changing my worldview and I know and trust that 'He who began a good work in (me) will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus' (Phil. 1:6).  I've been pondering over his bit on "time-saving" devices:  "Regardless of our opinion on what might be a better use of time, time passes the same for all of us whether we use technology or not.  In fact, 'time-saving' devices do not save time at all... There is no time bank where saved time is deposited... Men and women used to walk the garden for tomatoes and to the chicken-yard for eggs, now they drive to the store at 70mph to get tomatoes or eggs.  The question is have we really saved time?  Planting and growing tomatoes and raising chickens used to be considered by Christians to be spiritual and holy acts of faith and hope in the Providence of God.  By contrast, time-saving devices really just reallocate time to some other industrial or unbiblical use.  In fact, most time-saving devices actually cumulatively require more money (which takes time and labor to earn or produce), more services (such as electricity, which requires money, which requires work), or they simply shiftthe time requirement elsewhere.  If it were true that all the 'time-saving' devices invented since the advent of the industrial age actually saved time, then the average citizen in the industrial society, because of the conglomeration of all the time-saving devices and methods used throughout the last century or so, would have nothing at all but free time on his hands.  Why does it take more than one income to support a family today when it used to take just one?  ... Unhappily, people in the time-saving society have less true relaxation and leisure time than those in the generations before the advent of the industrial society... Are our lives really more spiritually full and complete now that we are surrounded by 'time-saving' devices that must be served by us, no matter the cost?  At the root of this deception is the question, 'What are we here for?'  If God put me here to be perfected as I am digging post holes and planting a garden and building fences, am I really well served to be able to do all of that in 1/4 of the time with machines that do the job for me, separating me from the lessons God intends for me to learn, and leaving me to serve the machines and to spend more time on spiritually and mentally debilitating pursuits?  What am I really here for?"

Well wouldn't ya know that in the midst of beginning this book, our dishwasher broke.  Thankfully, I still have two hands, soap, and running water.  Yes, there have been times when the dishes pile high, the kids are screaming and needy, and I just want to run on out to the store and buy a new dishwasher.  But, for the most part I can honestly say that I have enjoyed getting my hands wet and washing the dishes.  "M" often helps me and we have a wonderful time with the "bubbles" together.  What wonderful conversations it brings (of course, almost all conversations with a 2 year old are interesting!  I love their curiousity and the way they view things).  Above the sink is printed Titus 2:4-6, and as I was getting my hands wet the thought came to me that this is being "busy at home"; not loading machines or always be on or using some sort of technology, but to be working with your hands.  There does seem to be something spiritual about it and I do find God washing away the grime of my life as I wash the grime from the dishes. 

Today the bread machine caught fire in the middle of baking a loaf I was hoping to serve with dinner... Looking forward to all God will teach us as we learn to bake gluten-free bread by hand. 

1 comment:

Brandi said...

I can't believe that your bread machine caught fire! That is crazy! I don't have a bread machine, but do plan on making home made bread this month. :) Probably when I get back from Women of Faith this weekend. Good luck making gluten free bread! :) Have a great day! :)