Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Jolt Quote II

John Ortberg writes: "We live in an age of melancholy. Depression has replaced anxiety as the 'common cold of emotional life.' Suicide has skyrocketed as a cause of death particularly among young people....

How ironic it is that in a day when we rely so heavily on the entertainment industry to give us relief from the demands and boredom of everyday life, the least-depressed group in our society is the one that disdains electronics of any kind.
" (The Life You've Always Wanted, Zondervan, p72)

In a chapter that talks about joy, Ortberg aims at Christians who seemed to be chronically joyless. He then moves towards the false promises of modern technology, using the Amish community as an example of wholeness living without the frills of modern equipment and gadgets. However, we must always remember that advice as such must always take the context into consideration. The Amish is very much a community entity. They are always a plural people. Joylessness is essentially loneliness either by choice or by circumstances. The melancholic observation is a symptom of this loneliness aspect. How can we cultivate joy? Ortberg mentions 5 things:

1) Start now
2) Find a joy mentor
3) Set aside a day a week to do pleasant things
4) Unplug from technology for a week
5) Discipline the mind to see life from a biblical perspective

I believe that anyone who does only ONE of the above WITH a community will fare much better than one who does ALL of the above ALONE.


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