THERE’S no other way but to level up. With all the new developments exploding in the world today, we are faced with new challenges as well as opportunities, and we just have to be properly equipped to tackle them.
The technical aspects alone of these developments are formidable enough. They require nothing less than tremendous energy from us. But the fundamental spiritual requirements are even more formidable. We should not only worry about the software. We need to give due attention to the hardware.
We can never outgrow what Christ said: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Mt 6,33) This gives us the proper sense of priority, otherwise we would just get lost.
Remember what Christ again said: “For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mk 8,36) We need to be firmly convinced that with God first, all the other things in the world would come in their proper order.
Of course, there is a learning curve involved here. We just have to be game enough to go through it, like having an adventure. We should not mind so much the effort to be exerted, and the ups and downs, the trials and errors we can expect. We just have to remain focused on what we are supposed to do in the face of all these new developments.
For one thing, we have to learn how to discipline ourselves and deepen our virtue of order. It cannot be denied that we can easily get distracted, overdo certain things at the expense of more important duties we have. We can get carried away by the excitement of the moment and forget the bigger picture of things.
For example, we now have a lot of people plunged in social media, spending hours and hours there, even forgetting their meals. While the social media definitely serve a good purpose, it should not undermine the need for us to have direct personal contact with people. We have to learn how to properly blend personal contact with automation.
Our cellphones, if not used prudently, can harm family life and other relations we have. Imagine a family dinner with all the members quiet because everyone is tinkering with his cellphone. This unfortunately is becoming a common sight.
And the idea of rest is fast getting distorted. For many people now, rest simply means to do nothing, to be idle and to go into some man cave to indulge oneself in purely selfish pleasures.
Rest is not meant to cut us off from God and from others. It simply means a change of place, of activity, of pace and rhythm, where we can recover our energies and reignite our passion for God and for others. Remember Christ saying, “Come to me and I will give you rest.” It’s like a farmland that is not for a while planted with things so as to allow it to fallow and recover its natural elements.
We can read books to expand our knowledge of things, study the new techniques offered by the new technologies, and go to deeper meditations to get to know and love God and others better. This is how we ought to level up. The secret, I think, is to leverage the new things while keeping tab on the limits we have to respect. This is prudence.