The Common Good

Is Google Making Us Ignore God?

God calls on us to meditate on God and God's word. However, does the fast intake of information from TV, film, and especially the Internet make us less likely to experience God? According to new research, electronic gadgets actually change how we think and focus. Nicholas Carr famously asked "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" Will it also make us ignore God?

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Most of us now live in cities so bright that we can hardly see stars, much less the Milky Way. We most likely think of stars as spoiled performers and entertainers. Our food comes in plastic and cardboard, disconnecting us from how it is grown or raised. Eating the landscape was a profound spiritual experience for our ancestors, hence why Jesus chose the breaking of bread and drinking wine with us as a sign of his work. The meal was both a precious and elegant reminder of our dependence on God for our daily existence. But now food becomes fast food to match our impatience. Convenience trumps nutrition, and busyness pulls us from wonder into fidgetiness.

We drive in self-contained cars disconnecting us from the environment. Is it any wonder most of us who fill our tanks with gas cannot make the connection to the gushing oil polluting the Gulf? ( We can easily throw blame at BP but not look at our big gas guzzlers as a source for our ever-increasing disaster. We demand BP take responsibility but will we? Time to notice the logjam in our vision.

The theological perspective is that this busyness of the business of modern life draws us into the world of Martha and away from sitting at the feet of Jesus. We are being called to distraction, and the quiet, still voice of God goes unnoticed -- unnoticed in the flood of ever new links to follow, unnoticed in the hectic pace of modern life, unnoticed in the flood of events, information, and distractions. Through it all, God continues to call us to sweet voice of prayer. Yes, the call I am heeding -- returning to simplicity and healthier life -- may seem too simple to make a difference. Yet, does it make it any less true?

Time to draw back and take notice of the toes of Christ, to listen to voice of the King of Peace and hear the Lord cry in our babies' weeping. We need to practice humility and relearn the art of reflection, and return to life's better portion.

portrait-ernesto-tinajero1Ernesto Tinajero is a freelance writer in Spokane, Washington, who earned his master's degree in theology from Fuller Seminary. Visit his blog at

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