On 4 October 2021, the world came to a halt for a few hours. No, there was no Power Outage. There wasn’t an earthquake either. Around 2.1 million people took to the internet to complain. There was no peace of mind. There was chaos, at least deep within. ‘How long should we wait?’ they asked. It was the day when Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp experienced worldwide outage for several hours. Clearly, the technical impact was intense. Not to mention that the outage of around 6 hours caused $160 million loss and the employees of these Social Media platforms were confused as they were unable to enter on-campus buildings because their security badges would not work.
There were many who incurred losses in business as they used Social Media as the transaction platform. But the mess was far beyond understanding. Many were just frustrated seeing the buffering icon for hours. Most of them were irritated as they couldn’t share instant updates on Social Media and being socio-updated. A friend of mine admitted to have uninstalled Whatsapp as she got impatient not realizing that it was not her phone’s problem but a global outage.
This world is moving too fast. People have been caught up in a rat race. Not that they are stuck and not able to run. They are stuck in the race loop and not able to pause. From the non-stop traffic, to sprinting through the routines and rushing through the never-ending tasks, the race never seems to end. Of course the lockdowns had temporarily slowed down the external flow, but the online connectivity seemed to be uninterrupted. A break in the flow and that too just for few hours left the whole world perplexed!
Switch off and recharge
The phrase ‘Switch off ‘literally means to stop the flow or operation of something by means of a tap, switch, or button. For believers, switching off from the world means connecting with the One who is most dearest to them, their Creator, Lord, and Saviour.
Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
Hence we are also racers. Even in the fastest car racing, drivers have pit stops which enable them to change tyres and reduce risks related to speed driving. Once in a while we need to have pitstops. Switch off all distractions to secureyourself. The Jews unplug from the world on Sabbath. It is imperative that we also also unplug, to self-introspect and recharge ourselves.
Jeremiah 29:11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
Let us ask God for his mercy each day as we sail towards our final destination. Let us place our faith and hope on the One and Only lifeboat that can save us from the unpredictable tides and currents that can hit our lives any time.
When we see people in different circumstances we can understand how fragile life is. Anything can happen at any time. Unpredictability is the essence of life. It’s still surprising how we think that we are self-sufficient and wise. 1 Corinthians 3:18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become ‘fools’ so that you may become wise.’
God is the only One who is wise. If we think that we are more than what we are, we are deceived. An accident, an illness, why to explain more, the tiniest micro-organism can falter life’s balance in a moment. So we have nothing to hold on to. Riches, fame, position, possessions, heritage, none of these matter then.
Switch off and reconnect
We are living in a crowded, restless and noisy world. Many of us were just grabbing a bite on the run for ourselves. In a way, these lockdown days, we were given time to be together and enjoy the company of family. Are we still sitting along yet aloof? Are we actually enjoying technology or talking to each other? We need to switch off technology and connect with those around.
Luke 9:14 For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.
When we think about the miracle of ‘the five loaves and two fishes’, emphasis is surely given on the feeding of the 5000. But what about the fellowship they enjoyed that day? They were in groups enjoying the food that Jesus had provided. They were enjoying the loving company.
Let’s enjoy the precious time and people that has been granted to us. Our God loves fellowship. Philippians 2:1-2 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Switch off and revive
We all have heard real-life stories about people who came into faith, suffered a lot for their belief and stepped out with stronger conviction. In contrast, most of us are fortunate enough to take pride in our rich Christian heritage.But our Lord doesn’t expect us to be second-hand believers. Even if our parents or grandparents were in faith, we cannot boast in that. A personal relationship with Christ is all that matters.
The Israelites who first entered the Promised land with Joshua saw the mighty acts of God and believed. They were first-hand believers.(Judges 2:7).
But, sadly Judges 2:10 says ‘When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel.’
Third or fourth generation Christians surely have a wonderful legacy, but there is no use in being second-hand Christians who don’t have any personal relationship with Christ. Switch off to revive yourself. Stop relying on the comfortable Christian tag gifted by your grandparents and stand up for your personal relationship with your Saviour.
As a writer rightly puts it, ‘If your faith is not personalized, IT IS NOT FAITH. The need of the hour is the revival of the Youth. Youngsters are in slumber enjoying the comfort readily provided. We are running out of time. It is our time to wake up, draw closer to our Lord and share the love of Christ to others.
Switch off and recollect
What to recollect? The songwriter clearly explains, Count your blessings, name them one by one. Multi-tasking is possible but not always. Either scroll or stop scrolling and count your blessings. Scrolling also affects the way we see our blessings as we tend to compare. It’s especially when we fix our gaze on others and their abundance, that the value of our blessings seem diminished. God expects us to focus on our blessings and praise HIM for everything.
Let us not be like the Israelites, always complaining and ignorant of the bountiful blessings of Canaan. Philippians 2:14-15 Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.
Contentment is satisfaction. Yet for a believer it just does not stop at being happy and satisfied. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Be content and give thanks. A Christian’s contentment is knowing God’s plan for your life and believing that God’s peace is greater than the world’s problems. Switch off your gadgets and sit in his presence just to be thankful.