No Internet for a Month! Are You Nuts?
Maybe I am. After thinking about it, and after a few nudges from my loved ones, I’ve decided go Internet-free for the next month. Believe me, this isn’t an easy thing to do. I’m an Internet junkie. Next to riding my bike, surfing the Net is the best part of my day. A year ago a friend in New York told Marlene, “The Internet was made for people like your husband.” Totally true. I think the Internet is the single best discovery since the invention of the Moon Pie. (If you don’t know what a Moon Pie is, look it up on the Internet.)
What did we ever do before Google? Or Yahoo? Or Ebay? Or Amazon.com? Or weblogs?
I could wax eloquent for hours about the glories of the weblog. If I were poet like, well, like . . . I can’t think of any poets right now, so I’ll just say Mike Ditka and let it go at that, I would write a sonnet in praise of the weblog. Is there anything more beautiful than reading a weblog? Okay, that’s a little bit over the top, but you get the point. For the last two and a half years, I’ve been keeping a daily weblog on our church website. Since May of last year, I’ve kept a second weblog on the Crosswalk.com website. Those two ventures have allowed me the privilege of speaking to a vast audience scattered around the world.
During a radio interview last week with Pat Williams of the Orlando Magic, I was asked if the impact of the Internet has been more positive or negative. Although you can argue both ways, I think it’s been more positive. As usual, the bad guys figured out the power of the Internet before the good guys did. Jesus said the children of this world are often shrewder than the children of light (John 16:8). But Christians have learned how to use email, instant message, discussion boards, mp3 downloads, websites, weblogs, and now we're entering the wonderful new world of podcasting (look it up on Google). If you are wise in your use of time, and if you have an Internet filter (absolutely essential to protect yourself), the Internet is a wonderful tool for learning, personal growth, and as a way to connect with family and friends in many places. But note the word "tool." The Internet is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.
I’ve been extremely pleased with the way the church I pastor has embraced this new technology. I hope we will do much more on the Internet in the future.
So why am I taking a break for a month? I have decided to go Internet-free for a few weeks so that I can concentrate on some projects that need to get done. I love the Internet part of my ministry, but there are times when you need to pull back so you can focus on other things that need more attention. In particular, I have a writing project on the Apostles’ Creed that is overdue. Plus we have boys coming and going to and from China plus other personal and ministry commitments that will keep my plate very full for the next few weeks.
So I’m going to attend to some other things for a few weeks. Not to worry. I’ll be back online before too long. Enjoy the summer.