I thought I would try to be creative by coming up with a new name for my current sin struggle, so I combined technology and idolatry to make technolatry. But after a quick Google search (how ironic!), I found out that the term had already been coined by others. Articles go back as far as 1997 on Google’s first page. Now I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do (which happens to be another symptom of technolatry).
So yes, I got a new iPhone for Christmas. No doubt, these things are amazing. I can access the internet wherever I am and visit real webpages (not the scaled down mobile sites). I can update my Facebook & Twitter status, check and send mail, read the news, look up something on Wikipedia, watch videos on YouTube, use Google Earth, etc.
In response to all these technologically advances, I find myself asking, “What will they think of next?” But therein lies the problem. I haven’t even had this thing for 24 hours and already I’m trying to use it to its fullest potential, downloading the latest applications for it, and looking forward to what Apple will come out with next. Technolatry does that to us. It says, “I give you 3G web access, and I promise to give you so much more! If you will just worship me by giving me all your attention and depending on me to get you through the day, I will satisfy you and save you from _______ — boredom, purposelessness, loneliness, etc.”
While I will enjoy this neat little toy for the next few years as a useful tool for living in the 21st century, I know the tendency my heart has to turn it into something that promises more than it can give. I know that all the advertising and all the hype is aimed towards drawing out our desires for more. Desiring more is good, but who’s really going to give it to us? It’s not Apple. It’s not the App Store. God promises more.
Technology is good — God is the most technologically-advanced of us all! I am challenged to hope in something that’s been in the works for ages — the new creation, the new heavens and new earth. iPhone’s won’t matter in the new creation. We’ll have something better. No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, nor mind can imagine what God has prepared for those who love him and wait for him (1 Cor 2:9, Isa 64:4).
In response to the question, “What will they think of next?” the Creator God says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isa 43:18-19). He also says, “From now on, I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you” (Isa 48:6). And he promises, “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create” (Isa 65:17-18).
Technology is all about hype; Christmas is all about hope. Christmas promises hope to those who wait on the Lord and those who anticipate Jesus’ return. Christ’s birth confirmed God’s faithfulness to keep his promises made to Israel through the prophet Isaiah. Because Christ has come and because of what he has done, those who place their trust in him will enjoy the world to come, a world so technologically advanced that it will make everything from Apple or Microsoft look like paper airplanes. Believe it!