Tuesday, February 09, 2010

High Speed

A friend was recently complaining to me that it was taking too long for a game to load on his iPhone. I was thinking, "Dude, you're playing a video game on your phone that's not a monochromatic snake eating apples!" I can relate though, the wonders of 3G aside. I remember when the Internet became more than just forums and listserves and displayed graphics, full-pages of text, and even color. The wonder of it all! I didn't mind at all that a page would take a while to load, it was assumed. As the Internet became more widespread, Internet access no longer required a network, but could be accessed at home with a modest 14.4 kbps dial-up modem (a little evolved from the primitive modem in the movie War Games). As more people started to use the Internet and more and more web pages became available, modem speeds had to increase to compensate. Of course as modem speed increased, so did the bells and whistles on each page. Pretty graphics gave way to music and video, Flash and Applets, RSS and Twitter. Can you imagine accessing the Internet today with a 14.4 or even a 28.8 modem? Now we have High Speed, DSL, wi-fi, and 3G and for some reason web pages take the same amount of time to load as they did with my old 14.4.

Our lives are very similar. As we learn to deal with all that's on our plate, we add more and more. I have one kid figured out, let's have another. Two? No problem! Let's have three. Wait. No. Let me take that back and change subjects. One project at work? Nailed it. Give me another. One responsibility at church? No biggie, I can mentor that teen and lead that small group. Even though our dial-up is getting faster, we increase the data we need to download and the pace never seems to change.

This is where impatience comes in. Patience is the one fruit of the Spirit that I struggle to gain the most. I just can never seem to overcome my impatience. I cannot wait for my page to load and I long for the day of infinitely fast speed. The missing ingredient of course is contentment. As Internet surfers, we weren't content with primitive web pages and their blocky graphics. We then weren't content with online news services so we began to blog. We then weren't content with blogging so we added social networking. Social networking takes too much effort so let's limit our thoughts to 140 words and Tweet. I'm not content with my cell phone only being used for phone calls; I need to text. I then need to send MMS. Then I need games. Lots and lots of games.

In life, I'm not content with spending quality time with my family; I need to be busy doing something. I'm not content to just sit and watch a movie, I need to surf the Internet too. I'm not content with tackling one project at work, I need to add several more. So it's no surprise I'm so impatient. Instead of wresting to be patient, I need to slow down and be content. I need to be happy without the bells and whistles. I need to be grateful for the speed I have.

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:11-14)

For other perspectives on patience, check out today's blog-carnival over at Bridget Cumbley's.


Petra's Mommy said...

"The missing ingredient of course is contentment."

yeah...that hits it square on the head...

Excellent post!

Anonymous said...

Great post! I find myself talking (yelling) at my computer all the time because it is moving too slow, or not doing what I want in a timely enough manner...

Crazy how hard it is to feel content!

Glynn said...

I remember the Mosaic browser, too, first used in paleolithic times.

Everything in our lives tells us to hurry up, move fast, be there or be square. But that's not how God works. Sometimes He says, slow down, you're moving too fast.

Good, thoughtful post, Fatha Frank.

Nick the Geek said...

I started my computer experience with a Commodore 64. We ended up upgrading several years later to a 386 PC that had a 2400 baud modem. By the time the 14.4k came out and we were rockin with a 486 with 8 whole MB of memory and 240 MB hd we were flyin baby. I have more processing power in my phone now of course, but whatev.

Kathleen said...

So true. You nailed it. It's like crossing the ocean in hours instead of months at an unbelievable altitude with the ability to use the internet or phone? And we complain & get cranky instead of being overcome with wonder and awe. :) Contentment & gratefulness are the antidote, indeed.

bondChristian said...

Yeah, and the annoying thing about the fruit of the Spirit is if you don't have 'em all, you don't really have any of 'em. They're kinda all or nothing.

Patience is definitely what I'd consider one of my weak points too.

-Marshall Jones Jr.

M.L. Gallagher said...

Wow -- love this: The missing ingredient of course is contentment.

It is soooo true!

Thank you.


JML said...

That's a great way to put it. WE get clogged with all that we're doing, and we don't get enough to maintain it then we burn out and we're contentious bad words!!! Wonderful post!!!