When we think about progress, we often liken it to new technologies, innovation and everything happening around us at a fast pace.
We may even resent the constant pressure and noise of all the so-called progress and yearn for a bygone era where life was lived at what we imagine to be a slower and gentler pace.
But as I pack for another trip away, this time by plane, I'm also considering the benefits we enjoy because of progress and what society has gained.
A case in point would be tomorrow when I will travel 700km to another state (and hopefully some sunshine). It will take just over an hour, and by the time I am nearly landing at my destination, my husband will be only just arriving home from dropping me at the airport.
Yet just over 150 years ago, the same journey would have only been possible by camel train, horseback, wagon, or on foot and taken up to three weeks.
Transport, computer technologies, medical breakthroughs, and innovations enable us to live far easier and simpler lives.
This makes me think that perhaps the problems with progress and our fast-paced world is our own problem.
We know we have medication, medical science, and the ability and alternative to "pop a pill", so we often take our health for granted and don't exercise, eat well, make careful choices, or care for ourselves as well as we can.
Progress enables us to be a consumer and throw away society, whereas the previous generations were far more likely to appreciate, maintain, share, use, recycle, and restore everything they had.
Through innovative technologies, we can travel and communicate faster and further than ever before, yet we are often more isolated, pressured, stressed, and lacking in people skills than our grandparents.
God has blessed us with the ability to progress, yet how much positive progress have we turned into negatives through our own choices and not being wise as to how we use innovations for the good of our own and others' lives?
I believe God wants to bless, release and equip us creatively beyond our wildest dreams and to lift burdens and toil off us. But we would be wise to regularly ask ourselves how advancements in travel and all sorts of technology can be used to enhance our life rather than deplete our time, energy, finances, health, and spiritual and emotional life.
Today, I encourage you to make technology work for you and check in on whether all the benefits of the modern world are making things easier and enhancing your life. If you discover they aren't, consider how you can make some changes to your attitude and behaviors to ensure they benefit you rather than deplete your life.
And remember, sometimes it's nice to stop, turn off all the noise and be grateful for the simple things in life too.
"But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. (1 Timothy 6:6-7)
"And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)
“For God is not a God of confusion, but of peace.” (1 Corinthians 14:33)
Prayer: Lord, please help me make wise choices, appreciate the positives of progress instead of the negatives and stress, and remain balanced in life. In Jesus' name Amen.