Do you feel a little worried if your mobile phone isn't nearby? Do you launch into a panic when you are not sure where you left your phone? Do you get anxious at the realisation that your phone is perilously low on battery power? Does the mobile reside on your bedside table at night, or worse, under your pillow? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then a recent study sponsored by SecureEnvoy and written up in the Sydney Morning Herald suggests you may be suffering from Nomophobia, the fear of having no mobile. Apparently Nomophobia is worse amongst the young who may never have known a mobile phone less period. Those with so-called smart phones may be suffering even greater anxiety, suggesting the more you have the more you have to lose.
In reality many of us have survived much of our lives without mobile phones. Somehow we got by. And my parents seem to have survived their childhoods without washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, TV and a whole lot of things that I can’t imagine life without. Their parents (my grandparents) survived their childhoods without a whole lot more ‘very essential’ things.
One thing most people in the western world have decided to live without is a knowledge of, and relationship with, the living God. For a range of reasons the idea of reaching out to our Maker, listening for moral guidance, seeking for spiritual salvation, and trying to understand life beyond the grave, has become something our society just does not encourage. But why not?
No amount of technology can help us understand what we are doing here on this extraordinary planet that sustains life. Scientists are desperate to discover life somewhere else in the universe, or to postulate the existence of parallel universes, in part because our existence seems too good and too unlikely to believe. Technology can lead us astray while offering us no real moral guidance. We have access to seemingly unlimited knowledge, but seem at the same time to have lost our sources of wisdom. While our technology increasingly distracts and entertains, it does little to offer spiritual salve to the spiritual needs that no amount of distraction can completely satisfy. Finally, and fortunately, our life expectancy is far greater than our technology, but our own built in obsolescence remains an unsolved riddle. Technology may grant us a year or three more on medication in a nursing home, but the mystery of death remains unexplained.
Abandoning God in the hope that technology might provide the answer is a forlorn hope. The death of God has long been predicted, but stubbornly (and fortunately) God refuses to accept our verdict. To know God remains the greatest source of understanding, guidance, spiritual comfort and hope—something we really should not live without.
“The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.” Proverbs 14: 27