The Struggle to BE
The seasonal transition from summer to fall is now complete, and our school lives too, have transitioned from the ease of September to the pain of October—the season of midterms. It is in this time of mental strain that we must find a way to stay sane, to survive. When reflecting upon a potential theme for this issue, we at Mars’ Hill found that within each of us exists a desperate need for divergence from the busyness of school. It is essential to find things to break the monotony of study, things that allow us to step back and rest our minds for a brief period. I feel that this need is echoed in many aspects of life. The reality is that life will always be full of things that demand our undivided attention. This is not a bad thing; there is great value in the ability to focus upon a task. A key point of our Liberal Arts education is the learned and practiced ability to focus upon reading, writing, and critical analysis. There is, however, a danger in focus. It is so easy to project our focus onto other, potentially detrimental things in our lives, such as cell phones or social media.
Each day we are bombarded by technology; advertisements scream at us from almost every surface and our phones shake our pockets hour after hour begging for our attention. How then, can we focus on our surroundings with all this competing information? The social danger in technology is, perhaps, a tired topic for most of us but it seems that the message has no bearing upon our daily lives. I cannot count the number of times I consult my iPhone in a day simply because it is impossible to ignore—I am always on it. In the quiet moments of life, what do many of us do? We go on our phones to text friends or check social media.
Every minute spent on our phones, as we stand in a line or sit and wait for someone, is a minute spent distancing ourselves from the immediate world. Social media and technology do a marvellous job of bringing those who are geographically distant close together, but it also does a fantastic job of distancing those who are geographically close. All of this is resulting in a serious problem: we are forgetting how to just be. Psalm 46:10 says “Be still, and know that I am God.” God calls us to step back from the things in our lives some times and just sit in his presence.
We need to take back our ability to step back, to rest in the presence of God. We need to relearn how to stand or wait and not do something (like whipping out our phones and checking up on our little electronic worlds). I am as guilty of this as any, perhaps more than most, and it’s time to change. We need to learn how to diverge from our lives sometimes—be it homework or social media—and converge with God. How can we do this? Perhaps it is taking a walk and praying, or meditating on a verse in a quiet place some times. Let’s start to turn off the devices, and turn on our ear to what Christ has to say to us.
Prayer-a-graph Building 272 Youth Drop-In: Building 272 is a youth drop-in centre located in the heart of Aldergrove; it’s on 272nd street. Ben Waswa and the team are on a mission to engage the youth in a manner that shows it is possible to have fun in a healthy way, building the youth up rather than tearing them down. Nights involve fresh baked cookies, pool, movies, and a number of activities to draw in young teens. Ben and the team also desire to develop relationships with the youth and be positive role models for them.
Prayer Requests The team would like prayer for guidance as they search for new ways to reach out to the kids, and that the number of kids they reach would continue to grow with each night. Please join me in praying for Ben and the Building 272 team.