I recently returned to the village where I lived when I bought my first mobile phone nearly 20 years ago. A lot has changed in the world of communication since then. My first mobile was a chunky handset with an aerial protruding from the top. It had a tiny screen, could make and receive calls, and could store of maximum of 10 text messages. By contrast the mobile I carry these days is a powerful computer that slips into my pocket and which can perform literally hundreds of functions. But the one thing that hasn’t changed very much is the ability to actually make a phone call. On my recent visit the signal was no better than it had been 20 years ago.
As human beings we have an innate longing to communicate. We long for relationship with others and harbour a longing to reach out to the divine. In our modern world, however, the danger is that we have become so enthralled with our cleverness and ability to innovate that we have neglected to work on the one relationship that really matters.
Like our mobile phones we can be as smart as you like, but if we don’t invest in the ‘infrastructure’ that allows us to make real connections then we’ve rather missed the point.