July 7, 2014

Old People and their Technology!

I regularly rant (in my house) against the "evils" of video games and television. I do this, not primarily against the content of these technological advances, though that can be an issue, but against the time-wasting aspect that usage of these forms of entertainment are connected to. Don't get me wrong, I can enjoy a good show as much as the next person, but I have never thought to myself, "Wow. I should have spent more time playing games." or "Boy, I wish I could go back to my youth and watch more television."

This isn't just an issue with the young. There is no denying it, we all have seen many an elderly person waste away watching television, but even that isn't the prime issue. It is those who, in their 50's and 60's, are now living entirely for themselves. They feel that they have put in their time and now it is "all about me." I am sure they would not say these words, but their lives are vacation after vacation after vacation... in one form or another. We were simply not made to exist that way, and we do not continue to live and breathe simply for ourselves and our enjoyment.

J.I. Packer, hits on the realities of this in his book, Weakness Is the Way: Life with Christ Our Strength . The side-shoot of this topic is the resulting bleakness of life as one grows older. Many are simply "waiting for the end." Consider this quote from his book:
"Hope springs eternal in the human breast," declared Alexander Pope in his usual pompous way, but that is not all the story. For the first half of people's lives, spontaneous hope does indeed spur them forward. Children hope to do this and that when they grow up; teens hope to go places and do things when they have some money; newlyweds hope for a good income, a good place to live, and good-quality children; established couples hope for the day when the children will be off their hands and they are free to cruise, tour, and see the world. But what then? There comes a point at which the elderly and those who, as we say, are getting on realize that of all the things they wanted to do, they have done all they can, and the rest are now permanently out of reach ("life's too short," we say wryly). 
Yet life goes on. Today, indeed, people live longer than once they did, but the common experience is that extended and extreme age brings only bleak boredom and a diminished sense of the good life as consisting merely of three meals a day, television to watch, and a bed at night. Whether, as bodily health fades and minds and memories run increasingly amok, any better, more enriching experience of old age is possible is a question that secular social theory has shown itself unable to answer.  
But the Bible appears to have an answer... 
He goes on from this point to begin to describe the Bible's teachings combined with his own perspectives on aging and hope.

I am enjoying reading this book by Packer. I think it was free when I purchased it. It is a bit more expensive now, but it is definitely one worth picking up.