Below are the technologies that I think will be the most powerful shapers of Christian spirituality in the next 360 or so days (inspired in part by Wired’s The Best Five Toys of All Time)
1. The Clock
This morning when you woke up, what was the first thing you did? Brush your teeth? Make coffee? Read the Bible? Kiss your spouse?
I can almost guarantee it wasn’t any of those things. No, the first thing we do when we wake up (and the last thing we do before falling back asleep) is read the glowing numbers on a nearby digital clock.
Every decision we make, no matter how insignificant or world changing, is shaped by what those numbers tell us. Do I have time to get a coffee on my way to work? Do we have time for communion during this Sunday’s worship service? How many pages of my devotional do I have time to read? How long before I can give my baby another dose of her medicine?
Lewis Mumford and others have pointed out that it was 12th century monks who invented accurate clocks with the hope of standardizing times of prayer.
Clocks went on to make accurate ship navigation a reality, and they are what make the entire Internet function. But because they are everywhere, they are invisible, and because they are invisible, we rarely reflect on how they structure the way we see the world and what we can do in it.