Kevin’s Conversations: Sensory Overload
It is an annual endeavor that we have undertaken every year since my wife and I married and we thank God for providing the means and ability to do so. It is a time we all look forward to very much.
We are going to Williamsburg, Virginia, again. We have been there several times before and continue to go back because we have semi-regular arrangements for a stay there and we like much of what there is to see and do in the area.
Of course, we do the amusement parks for the kids as they would be quite disappointed if we didn’t. I confess I like them, too. Among other things, we usually do Colonial Williamsburg and this year we are also planning to take in the history of Jamestown and Yorktown.
I love going through the living history museum that is Colonial Williamsburg and seeing and learning what life was like in the 18th century. My kids may be more enamored with playing in the mud pit at the Brick Maker or counting how many deposits of horse manure they spot in the streets while my wife longs to peruse the shops, but I savor watching the Blacksmith work his craft or learning how meals were prepared or taking in how government was conducted in the Capitol building. I look forward to taking in even more things of the like in Jamestown and Yorktown.
I yearn for a simpler time. No, the Colonials did not have anywhere near the comforts and conveniences back in those days as we have today. In many ways they worked much harder than we do these days, at least from a physical perspective. If I had to be a blacksmith or a servant toiling over the open fires in the kitchen on these 100 degree and humid summer days, methinks my yearning would quickly come to an end. 🙂
And, yes, there were immoral and problematic issues that they dealt with that we don’t have to today. Colonial Williamsburg does not hide the reality of slavery that was very much a part of the culture. And the tensions and violence leading up to and through the Revolution did not make life easy.
However, I still have the yearning for that overall simpler time. When there were no phones or tv or internet or multi-billion dollar corporations. When we didn’t know all the ills of the world. When there weren’t a million different activities going on at once. When there wasn’t such constant pressure to meet the bottom line.
We’ve talked about it here before, including even a bit on my post last week.
It often seems like we weren’t made for this. We weren’t made to have this constant stimulation around us 24/7, with perpetual notifications that something is happening. Where we instantly learn of innumerable tragedies that happen around the world and have manifest access to the intimate and heart-wrenching details of many of them. Where we learn the dirt on so many of our leaders and pastors and even neighbors. Where we run ourselves ragged getting involved in so many activities and circumstances demanded by others and our even own consciences while concurrently feeling guilty about the myriad of other opportunities that we pass by.
In many ways it’s not apparent that we were made for all of this. Every age of time has had its challenges, some of them presumptively unique. One of our unique challenges is dealing with everything that we can know and do nowadays.
Our souls do not seem capable of handling it all.
And yet, this is where God has placed us. He knew what things would be like today when He created this world. He knew about not only today, but all the days that are yet to come before His Return. He didn’t make a mistake and forget to return before our psyches became irreparably overwhelmed.
“For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.” 2 Corinthians 1:8-10
Our afflictions, our struggles, our challenges may be different than those of Paul.
The cure is not.