Every morning I get up and ride the light rail from my house in North Austin to Downtown to go to work. Traffic didn’t used to be a problem in Austin, but as major corporations such as Apple, Ebay, Oracle, VM Ware, Facebook and others came here, the roads got more and more congested. Austin is working on the problem, but it didn’t really prepare for such astronomical growth. It started with the e-commerce boom at the turn of the century, and it is getting worse every day.
How did this happen to MY city? After all, I have spent my entire life here. It didn’t used to be this way. Downtown was a scary place to be. In fact, I used to feel uncomfortable telling my high school friends I went to church downtown because it was notorious for being on the wrong side of the tracks. Any way you look at it, my cheese has been moved. Downtown is huge now. Every day it grows. The skyline looks completely different than it did 10 years ago, and it will be completely different 10 more years from now. Cars may be a distant memory in my lifetime. Public transportation may be the norm.
As I ride the train in the morning, I am usually in my own world. I don’t know who is sitting in front of me or beside me and I hardly notice the people getting on and off the train. I plug in my earphones to my smartphone and listen to my MP3’s. Is this how life is supposed to be? Is this what God intended for us? I have removed myself from the daily conversations and plug myself into cyber world. I have been thinking a lot about this and I struggle with it daily. It is the truth. The truth is unsettling. The truth behind the truth is that we do have a purpose in this life. Our purpose is much more than just plugging in and tuning out.
I am guilty. As I would like to consider myself a Christian, I am far from the person that I would like to be. The person I need to be. The person God intended me to be.
One day, I was forced to sit next to someone on the train and the first thought I had was “oh brother”. I had 2 conversations on that 30 minute train ride. I wasn’t plugged in. One conversation was about recruiting which I thoroughly enjoyed. We talked about trends, what is going on in Austin and him personally. The other conversation was with an individual who actually gave me a lead for a position I was recruiting for at Rosetta Stone.
After that train ride, I started to think that those conversations may have not been random at all. They may have, indeed, been purposeful conversations. Conversations that were MEANT to happen.
Every day we miss signs. We don’t observe what is going on around us. We ignore what we don’t want to know about and live in our little “bubble”. That is not the way we were intended to live.
I think I am going to start calling smartphones “dumb phones”. We have become stupid. We don’t pay attention to what is going on around us. That, my friend, is the truth behind the truth. Take a minute to listen. We are being talked to every day. It is our choice to listen or not, but the answers may be right in front of our face. It is hard to see some days because we don’t see God and it is easy to dismiss, but when you start putting the pieces together, he has been with us all along.