From iPhone to Community

19 Jan

From Iphone to Community

Monday, September 19, 2011

By: Zac Harmon-McLaughlin


It is amazing to me how upset I can become while waiting on hold after talking to a machine. Does that even make sense? Why would I get so upset?


Here is what happened… My Iphone, yes, my beloved iphone just died. Apple said it was because it had water damage. They said the water had become corrosive and eventually no longer allowed the phone to charge. Well, I was quite upset. I went to ATT&T to hopefully get some sympathy and a new phone. My upgrade isn’t until January, but I thought, “I am a nice guy, they will want to help me out.” Well after 30 minutes of being on hold with customer service, there was no hope to be found.


Here is the interesting thing…I found myself so frustrated. Why can’t I get a new phone? This isn’t my fault! I am a good customer! I don’t even yell at customer service!  Then it struck me. I was purely content with my consumption and complacent with my wealth. I had forgotten that I can survive with out an iphone. Now, I am not saying that I won’t someday when I can afford it or when I get it really cheap because of an upgrade get an iphone; I am just saying, I can survive until January with a regular make-phone-calls phone.


I just spent the weekend in the mountains with our congregation. We camped all weekend and experienced true retreat. No agenda, no classes, no trainings, no anything except to enjoy our freedom and relaxation. We were retreating. We were being with God. On Sunday morning I talked to the congregation about what our world would look like if we lived all the time with this sense of simplicity. We had limited access to modern conveniences. We enjoyed the simplicity of tents, picnic tables, small cooking stoves, fires, lawn chairs. If something needed done, we all just pitched in and made it happen. I thought to myself, isn’t this what the kingdom of God would look like? Living within our means, cherishing one another, helping each other out when needed because of our sense of community? If we were really going to be the Community of Christ wouldn’t we live in our neighborhoods around our church and begin to create a community of Christ? A community that thrives on help and support of our neighbors? A community that exists without the aching desires of an iphone?


I know that I will survive without my precious iphone. The question now is, the hope now is, can we become a Community of Christ in the midst of a culture and society that is driven by convenience and complacency? Will we value patience over money? Will we value community over privacy?


May we let go of our possessions so that we might pursue our discipleship. Lets never let our stuff own us. Lets be able to listen and respond to God with more fervor than listening and responding to our iphones. Lets bring the kingdom of God a little bit closer by realizing we are called to be in the world, not of it.

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