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Snap to Attention!

How do seniors cope in a Snapchat world? My answer may surprise you.

Microsoft did a study which found that 8 seconds is all you have to garner someone’s attention. Thus the popularity of Instagram, Snapchat and so much more. Indeed advertisers build whole campaigns around this fact aiming to grab you during those fleeting seconds with the very best they have to offer. They also know that the consumer of today has very specific demands. We want the fastest delivery and the quickest response. We want instant gratification. If I have to wait you will likely loose me as a customer. I’ll move on to a business that will serve me more expeditiously.

But remember Jiffy Pop popcorn for stovetops? We used to relish seeing the foil dome rise up and up as it filled with popped kernels. Back then it did seem fast and fascinating to watch the process. Today we don’t really care about the process. Just get me the goods ASAP!

Remember when Sunday dinner cooked all day in the oven and as time wore on towards supper the aroma drew you into the kitchen with your mouth watering? Now Instant Pots have taken over claiming to produce that same familiar delicious fare.

Remember when Monday was washing day…and it truly did take all day? My mom did it in the porch with a long table beside the machine which held the tub of rinse water. Above it stood the wringer, a double roller which would swing out and away from the washer over an entirely empty separate wash tub set in place to catch all the excessive drips. To run smoothly and to prevent the wringer from jamming up, it demanded that each piece of clothing be separately fed into it for squeezing before the item was dumped into the laundry basket. This lengthy process worked well enough but was followed again by the hanging of each separate piece to dry on the clothes line. No wonder it took all day long. Then subsequently a mountain of never-ending ironing resulted which seemed to go on into the rest of the week! Mom was always ironing and she ironed absolutely everything right down to facecloths and bras not to mention sheets and pillowcases... but man, that freshly made bed smelled divine!

Remember when neighbours leisurely strolled down the street on their evening walk and often stopped by for a sit and a chat on the front porch? Now we have moved to sit privately on our back decks isolated from others, cut off from the lives of those who live

just next door.

We took our time back then, little seemed rushed, yet still we all gradually morphed into this demanding society of today. I don’t disapprove of a lot of these changes. In fact I see many of them as improvements. If Mom had had a washer and dryer she wouldn’t have had to work so hard. Using an Instant Pot means I can rely on a perfect and delicious dinner being ready after I get home from a grandchild’s soccer game. That is a good thing especially for busy parents freeing up family time.

So what’s wrong with living in a snapchat world? Well, how much time have you got? No, seriously, as I said, some aspects are good but as Christian seniors let’s take another look at our role in this modern gotta have it, on-the-spot world.

We are called to grow, and by grow I don’t mean conform. Growing as a Jesus Follower is about developing a crockpot faith over a microwave one-it takes time and it continues till the day we die! You have accumulated a lifetime’s worth of experiences and spiritual wisdom which you are meant to share. You are meant to use your honed talents and knowledge to help others grow in their faith walk. You are meant to joyfully tell other generations how faithful God has been to you as you stayed the course.

You see it’s not so much about the world grabbing our attention. It’s about us grabbing theirs!

Yet some may feel now that I am older that this is my ME time. You may feel justified in backing away from your God-given tasks. However, I love what Dr. Hal Habecker of Finishing Well Ministries says, “Who gave you permission (to do that)?” As Christian we must remember that ALL our days are ordained.

Yes, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18) has no expiration date attached.

Growth is a process of continually asking God for more, not less! And as we age with all its challenges it may seem that indeed we do need more of Jesus than we ever did before. To become more like Jesus each day is to ask BIG. It’s about waiting on the Lord, being willingly surrendered to be taught and pruned, to hunger after Him and to intentionally seek more and more of Him. It requires a lifetime of transformation. There is nothing speedy about it at all.

You can’t throw a cucumber in a jar and call it a pickle.

You can’t grow a bonsai tree overnight.

You can’t make molasses flow quicker.

Usain Bolt was not instantly the fastest man.

Seniors, we do indeed live in a very fast-paced snappy world but we can grab the attention of younger generations by testifying to our sloth-like faith, tried and true, built up over a lifetime of trusting God. Then let The Word do its work.

Hebrews 4:12 “For the Word of God is living and active…”

Unlike a cheetah-like faith, we have cultivated ours over a lifetime of witnessing and experiencing God’s faithfulness. Our faith is rich and deep and has withstood the test of time. Now cheerfully pass it on to others as we continue to press forward.

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