Episode 84 Show Notes
Special Conversation with Senator Ben Sasse
From the Show
How do we reconnect with those around us?
Michael Horton – “Finally, live local. You say, ‘imagine if just 10% of the time we spend angrily tracking national political news were redirected to volunteering at our kids or grandkids school, serving at a soup kitchen, visiting a nursing home, we would be community rich.’”
Ben Sasse – “I don't think people realize how rapidly our local communities are thinning out. I’ll just give you an example of basic hospitality. 20 years ago the average American hosted 14 times a year in their house, today or last year, the average American hosted only eight times. So, half as many occasions of inviting people over to have a party at your house or to eat dinner with you as in the past. And it turns out that that is the real way that you get happy and the way that you know that your neighbor is in need and what their needs are so that you can pray for them in a meaningful way so that you can bear their burdens.
That thinning out of local community is partly enabled by new kinds of technology that we haven't figured out how to manage to get the maximum benefit out of with a minimum amount of disruption. I want to be clear, as a Nebraska football addict, I love the fact that my iPhone, in general, and Twitter, Husker football Twitter in particular, gives me access to all sorts of data that I crave and that I didn’t use to know.
I would have to go to the library and read a sports Almanac and you wouldn't get nearly as much on the spot information as you can get now when you’re watching a game. There are great things about that, but there's also a very real temptation in a world that’s that instantaneous and flat and that is, if you're at the dinner table with your mother-in-law and your mother-in-law starts to annoy you, your iPhone is whispering to you, ‘you don't have to be here. You don’t have to actually maintain human interaction and contact with her, under the table you can go to Wrigley Field and check the scores right now.’ Well, actually, you do need your mother-in-law.
She may annoy you once in a while, but not only do you need her, your kids need her, and you love her, and you want to honor God by serving her well and it turns out that sometimes, going through the boring moments are where the texture is built. It becomes the reservoir of a lifelong relationship. Right now, our phones, as just a little picture of what technology in general is doing, our phones are tempting us to believe we never have to stay a place where we're bored. Well, actually, a lot of the time, loving your neighbor means staying with them and listening to them, even when they're boring.”
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