This week my life has been filled with technology in one form or another. What is your relationship with technology? Love it? Hate it? Does it suck you in or give you a headache? Whatever we think about it, it is now a part of our existence. It has added a layer to my life. For example, my debit card had an attempted hack so it was cancelled and I have been chasing down all the places that my card is used with auto pay. My router was changed so I had to reinstall all my gadgets. Registering for a class at Pathways of Grace is online. Taking Miss Grace to the Vet is now all automated paperwork, and the list goes on and on.
Technology and contemplation are not in opposition. The question is how do I contemplate technology? Or do I? In Benedictine practice, tools are treated as sacred. The broom and hoe have as much God in them as the water of baptism. And isn’t making sacred the ordinary what the Divine points out all the time? In the Christian tradition, the most sacred elements are the most ordinary – water, bread and wine. If one smiles and says, “Oh yes, God is in a sunset, my neighbor and a piece of bread,” then why not technology? Everything is worthy of contemplation (seeing God in the ordinary).
What would seeing technology as sacred be like? When turning on one’s computer or opening the phone would seeing them as sacred make a difference? Try it this week. Let me know how it goes.
Now I don’t have much time to go very deep into this (come to Dinner and Conversation Friday to really talk about this), and there are many evils that happen because of technology, just as there are in all of life. Everything has the potential for harm or good. This is why contemplation is a lifelong practice. Creating a practice of asking questions rather than just going along gives space to the way one interacts in the world. It allows each person to fully engage in what they are doing. How will you contemplate technology? This is an important question for this time in history.
May your week be filled with the sacred.