There was a survey done in England about teenagers and cell phones. They took ten teenagers and took away their cell phones for one week.
What do you happened? Their lives degenerated into chaos. They were unable to communicate with each other – they did not know where to meet each other – their lives literally fell apart.
They would arrange meeting places and meeting times only minutes before they got together – sometimes changing the meeting place or time by text. Their life was so flexible that without a cell phone you would be unable to know where your friends were going to meet.
They had come to rely completely upon their cell phones – much more than they thought.
This got me thinking – What would happen if we had no computers, or if televisions stopped working – what would we do.
Think about the times when the power goes out, maybe in the middle of your favorite show. How do you feel when there is no power in your house. Helpless – frustrated – nothing works, no tv, no internet, no air, no lights. We kinda grind to a halt and wait for the power to come back.
We have become reliant upon things haven’t we.
But what about our faith in Jesus.
What do we rely on for our faith? What keeps our faith going?
For some of us its youth group – for others it’s the Bible – for others it’s social events – friends – family – church – trips – music – diocesan events.
What would happen to our faith in Jesus Christ – to our Christianity – if we were not allowed to read our Bible, or to go to Church or to go to youth group or to any diocesan events?
Would we be able to sustain our faith for the next 25 years?
Would we be able to still know God, worship God, pray to God and recite scripture and grow in our faith without church, youth group, a bible, devotionals, worship music, Christian videos? What would happen if all the props of Christianity were removed from our life?
What would happen if everything was stripped away and all that was left was US and our RELATIONSHIP with God.
Would we discover that actually our faith in God is tied up with needing a Bible, to going to youth group, to going to church or going to Camp or having devotionals, or listening to music. Might we discover that these extra props of our life as a Christian have become the source of our faith rather than tools of our faith.
This is exactly the question that Daniel discovered when his country was attacked and taken over by Babylon.
Daniel was suddenly faced with a life where everything he had relied upon religiously was gone – his temple was gone – his ritual was gone – his sacrifices was gone – his way of life and daily devotions were gone as was his freedom!!
Not only that, but Daniel’s whole world had been shaken because when Babylon defeated Israel – it appeared to have defeated God – Yahweh. A smashed Israel equated with a smashed Yahweh.
In Daniel’s day when a country beat another country the underlying message was – “My god has beaten your god – nanananana”. If your country prospered then your god was strong – if your country did not propser and was weak then so was your god.
He had to wear new cloths – he was given a new name and he was in a place where all trace of his belief and faith were GONE!!
He was an insignificant minority in a culture that saw his belief system as a waste of time.
How would our faith hold up to that?
That’s what Daniel and his friends faced as they were force out of their country into a new life.
But Daniel discovered something about God as he began to live away from everything he had known – he came to realize that God was a God 2 Go God. That God was able to exist outside the temple, outside the ritual, outside the daily devotions.