Amazing isn't it.
People dressed in black can lug big shoulder-mounted cameras around GCC's platform virtually unnoticed (largely because the continuous partial attention of our cultural conditioning enables us to look right past such things). Wires, cables, light-stands, mic-stands, music-stands, props and well-positioned camera operators quickly blend into the background as eyes and ears tune-in to the Gospel Story.
... a lot has changed in recent decades. The Gospel hasn't changed but the culture Jesus Christ sends us into certainly has.
Tech-toys and tech-tools are now ubiquitous. Smart phones and wi-fi enabled tablets guarantee anyone anywhere can touch everyone everywhere. Today's social media nodes and networks don't merely help folks stay in touch; with these tools we're all in constant contact.
... and we think we love it.
Everyone wants to connect and be connected, so we're always-on: anywhere, anytime, anyplace. We pay continuous partial attention to everything and everyone. We feel chronic stress and anxiety because we're desperately fearful we'll miss an opportunity, conversation or experience. The problem isn't that we might be distracted; the emerging issue is that we are always distracted. Share dinner with a few friends (as they look at their smart-phones every few seconds) and you'll quickly see what I'm talking about; we're so accessible that we are inaccessible. We can look at everything and see nothing. We can be active everywhere without impact anywhere. Grandeur is missing when everything is noticed and nothing is note-worthy.
We're conditioned for continuous partial attention so when we finally see and hear the essential Truth (previously hidden in the cacophony around us), our lives become rich and full. At GCC we're doing our best to help people get past our culture's distracting white-noise and experience God.
I honor the volunteers who work each weekend, helping us recognize "the still small voice" of God. They help us sort through the ambient noise and focus on what matters most - giving Jesus our full attention.
1 Kings 19:11-13 - Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
Credit: I believe Linda Stone coined the phrase "Continuous Partial Attention" here.