Since the mid-1800s, for many people, the number of leisure hours has increased and lifespan has increased enormously. People in the mid-1800s worked seventy hours a week and lived forty years; now in developed countries people can work forty hours a week and live seventy years, or more. One author calculates that this gives the average person about 33,000 more leisure hours than a person might have had in the mid-1800s.
Not only that, but the type of leisure activities that people engage in today have changed. Much time is spent alone in front of electronic entertainment. Previously it would often be spent with family: making music, telling stories, and with friends and with the local community. In conjunction with this, ‘alone time’ has also risen as people have moved out of smaller rural communities to the industrialized cities. Anonymity is easily achieved in the big city versus the small town.
Now people come home, and rarely do they get together to make music or play games. They sit in front of these flashing idols of all sorts, which pour out music and pictures and all sorts of other things to keep them entertained. We do not need our neighbors any more. No longer do we sit out on the porch (air conditioning has contributed to that too) and talk to neighbors; we go inside and shut the door and go to our private entertainment places.Please, let's swim against this current. It's only gaining momentum in the world around us. And it is unfitting us to be human, to be relational beings, made in the image of our Triune God, who love our neighbors in Jesus' name, for God's sake.
For the glory of God,
for the good of our souls,
for the good of our children (let's give "swimming lessons," in our homes and church to train them in strength and endurance to swim upstream),
for the sake of Christian friendship,
for the good of our neighbors,
for the mortification of the anti-sociality of sin,
for the vivification of the live-in-the-light and love-your-neighbor impulses of the Gospel,
and a thousand other goods reasons and effects,
please, let's swim against this current.