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I read an article recently that was a review of a particular cruise ship. The writer was in the ship’s Disco and saw many people dancing, all to a different song because they were all wearing headphones.
That’s right- people dancing together on the dance floor, but no one dancing with anyone else.
Back in the ’70s and ’80’s we were worried about “cocooning”, which was people staying in their homes and communicating through technology instead of actually getting out of the house and talking to each other in person. That worry has long since gone away, not because we stopped doing it but because it became the standard way to communicate.
For over 20 years my wife, Donna and I have taken an annual, anniversary cruise…we LOVE cruising! We also always try to get an assigned dinner table so that we can meet people and every night, despite how hectic it can be touring and doing all the activities offered on a ship, we can settle down and look forward to (at least) one stable activity. It sort of brings the day to a proper ending.
It saddens us that so many of the major cruise lines are now going from assigned times and tables to what is called Freestyle Dining, where no one has an assigned time or table. To me, it is a form of cocooning.
When I read about these people in the Disco, which (by definition) should be a social gathering to meet and get to have fun with other people, dancing individually to their own music, I realized this is the epitome of divide and conquer. And it certainly isn’t in accordance with how the Bible says we should be with each other.
God gives us rules for social interaction: he tells us how we should act with each other, and how we should not act with each other, but it always emphasizes how we are to be a community.
The Enemy of the Lord will want us separated, alone and lonely in order to make us behave the way he wants us to. Within a community, we can edify and encourage each other, but when alone we are vulnerable to any number of attacks, emotional and physical, which makes it easy for us to be influenced to do the wrong things.
I guess most people who read that article thought it was a cool idea- being able to take my partner to the disco and if we like different types of music, we can still dance together but each to our own music. They are repeating what the world says is good- be your own person, do your own thing, dance to your own music. This type of behavior encourages pridefulness, self-dependence, and forming of individual ethical standards- all the opposite of who God says we should be.
The Enemy is very smart and would make one really great therapist because he understands our basic, animal desires better than we do. Freud developed modern psychoanalysis, and he called one part of our personality the Id, which is the part of our emotional makeup that is our basic, hedonistic desire for immediate gratification. On a spiritual level, we would call it Iniquity. The Enemy knows all about this and uses it against us, to bring us away from godly actions (good works, if you will) and redirect us to self-dependence and individual gratification.
When you are focused on yourself and being who you feel you should be, you lose sight of being who God wants you to be.
The Enemy wants us to dance to our own music and ignore everyone else’s music; he wants us to be sitting alone in our house, playing on Facebook or Instagram or YouTube. The Enemy wants us to text and drive, to review Facebook notifications while walking across the street, and to live our own life, alone, secluded and vulnerable.
That is his plan to divide us from God so that he can conquer.
I use Facebook (obviously!) but limit my exposure. When I am done with my messages, I catch up quickly on notifications, then I get off Facebook and go to the gym or ride my bike, or do anything else. I don’t text that much and when I am home, my phone is usually sitting on the dresser in my bedroom being charged.
Are you cocooning yourself? If you took a good look at yourself in the mirror would you see someone who is living their life interacting in person with other people, or are you just looking at a “selfie” image?
We have to stop living on our own and make sure we are in a community of like-minded people so that we will not be separated from God. Yes, use email; yes, keep your Facebook account; yes, take your phone everywhere with you but NO!- do not live through these devices. Live your life with other human beings, interacting face-to-face and touch, sense, hear and speak as part of a living community.