“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
99% of all American houses have TV’s and there are approximately 2.24 TV’s per house. 66% of homes in America have 3 or more TV’s. The average American television is on at least 6 hours and 47 minutes a day. In a year America will watch 250 billion hours of television (1).
According to the US Census, in 2009 76.7% of Americans have access to internet in one form or another (2). About 38% of Americans have an account on Facebook(3) and 13% of Americans are using Twitter(4). During Christmas of 2011 there were 6.8 million smart phones and tablets (Android and Apple iOS devices only) activated(5). Consequently there were 6.5 million downloads of Angry Birds(6). In May 2010 72% of adults who owned cell phones were texting(7) and 72% of all teenagers text (88% of all the teens who own cell phones)(8)
And beyond all of this, there are countless activities like exercise classes, sporting events, hiking, walking, book clubs, etc… that we fill our lives with. There’s books on the shelves, music on our phones and other portable devices, DVD’s in the cabinet, video games, and numerous board games in the closet. Then we have museums, libraries, shopping malls, art galleries, etc… all within a couple hours drive.
And yet, with all of this at our fingertips, Americans are still complaining about being bored, lonely, and unsatisfied. In fact one in four Americans describe themselves as having no one in their lives they can confide with and if family members are not included, nearly half of Americans feel lonely(9). So why are so many Americans claiming that they are bored?
The truth is that TV’s, Facebook, smart phones, and everything else; they aren’t fulfilling. That’s why as soon as the iPhone 4S hit the shelves, people were already talking rumors of the iPhone 5. Americans are quickly finding themselves in a state where, if there’s not a TV playing, music in the background, or playing around with their phones, they are bored. And boredom has been linked to depression and high risk behaviors(10).
I believe there is reason for this, the devil knows the Word of God and tries to get us to do things contrary to God’s Word. For example, Psalm 46:10. Just imagine what would happen if people just learned how to be still. If we learned how to be still, we will encounter God. Today, you don’t hear of people evangelizing in such great power like Smith Wigglesworth (who never prayed more than 30 minutes, but never went more than 30 minutes without praying).
Now I’m not saying that TV’s, computers, and smart phones are bad. It’s just that those things will leave us empty and hungry, always craving more, yet never being fulfilled. And they do not teach us the discipline of stillness. After all, it wasn’t in wind, nor the earthquake, nor the fire where God spoke to Elijah. God spoke to Elijah in a still small voice, a quiet whisper (1 Kings 19:11-12).