I saw a cartoon recently of two angels in heaven looking sadly at people walking around them looking at their hands held in front of them, palms upward with dazed expressions.
One angel was saying to the other, “Yes, it’s very sad. For the first few weeks when they get here they just walk around looking at their empty hands!”
It seems that nowadays people are glued to their mobile phones!
Instant access to information and communication appears to be an essential part of modern life.
It is the expectation that everyone is instantly accessible via a mobile gadget.
Walk down the street and observe how many people are walking around looking at their mobile phones or in conversation on them.
But is it healthy?
I think it is possible to detect that with the growth of mobile phones and technology less time is spent in actual face to face communication.
We are losing the ability to relate to one another effectively.
Thus there is a growing trend of relationship confrontation and breakdown.
Another symptom is a disease that is affecting an ever growing proportion of our population - stress.
It is talked about a lot with articles, programmes and adverts all about how to de-stress or avoid it.
Even this article is about it!
There is a lot of material about workplace stress, such as the traffic light system where red is the danger sign and calls for positive action to avoid blow up, through amber to green, which is the safe zone.
But once spotted drinking a cup of camomile tea or attending a relaxation class isn’t touching what is at the heart, which is all about lifestyle choices.
Modern technology means we are constantly bombarded by information and visual and audio stimuli.
Our brains need to run in neutral occasionally.
Our brains are incredibly complex organisms and like a computer that freezes when it is overloaded with some task that is taking all its processing power our brains can get clogged in the same way.
Whereas just to have time to let our thoughts idle means that subconscious processes get a chance to ease our minds back into a state of equilibrium.
Being involved in a church and having a practice of prayer is just one way that the equilibrium can be re-established.
I am a vicar so you would expect me to say that!
But there are other ways too, but none that bring God into the equation!
But it may be, just may be that there would be less stress around if we left our phones switched off for a while and just let our brains breathe a little.