So the Internet is all abuzz with the unveiling of Apple’s newest Iphone. I admit that I spent the better part of an hour watching the live presentation on cnn.com. You’d think that after several iterations of Apple’s presentations, the media and the public (myself included) would get bored, but the hype and anticipation just seems to build with every new launch. I had been waiting for this announcement for a while as I am due for a new phone (as well as my wife), but my fascination with these products exposed something in me that I don’t like.
Why am I so infatuated with newness? With the latest and greatest technology even when I know that something faster and better is going to come out next year? It certainly wasn’t the presentation – I was amazed at its simplicity and straightforwardness. What is it about a new phone that gets me excited? What does it say about where I am setting my heart and desires? At the same time, why am I so easily bored by the ancient and profound? My heart is like a distracted squirrel always looking for the next nut. The words of the hymn, “Come Thou Fount” are so true for me.
O to grace, how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness like a fetter bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above.
I need my heart sealed for things above lest I should set it on the newest trinket on the market. Help me, God, to need your Spirit more than Siri!
Along with recognizing my excitability, I noticed the effusive language used to describe the products. “Greatest [product] ever…” “we are so excited…” “marvel…” “the best thing we’ve made…” “the fastest…” “we can’t wait…” “it screams…” The language was carefully chosen. Nothing was matter-of-fact. Every word expressed energy, raised hype, increased attraction. As I counted the number of times they used words like these, I wondered how often do we use such language to talk about truly remarkable and awesome things? I don’t mean awesome in the sense of an awesome hot dog or an awesome phone. I mean awesome as in a comet shower tracing lines across the sky, an intrusive sunrise, a whale doing a belly flop, or a tiny heart beating inside a baby only 3 inches long – all glimpses of a beautifully artistic and creative God.
As we get excited about the latest advancements in technology, let’s remember where true wonder and excitement should lie. Let’s carefully reserve our language for subjects that truly require them. In fact, let’s use such language only when such words are still inadequate to describe the object. Paul’s first part of his letter to the Ephesians is a great example (it’s remarkable that the entire discourse from vs. 3-14 is one sentence in the Greek!) Note the kind of effusive language he uses. It’s not matter of fact. It’s gushing. Is anything more worthy of such language than the amazing and mysterious truths he is declaring?
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”