"In effect we are hyper-stimulated in the modern world. Our frantic pace, endless interruptions, and the rich abundance of entertainment, fast-paced movies, video games, all are a feast for the eyes but they hyper-stimulate. From the time we awaken to our return to sleep there is almost never a moment of silence, or a time when we are not being bombarded by images, often flickering and quickly changing.
This hyper-stimulation means that when we come upon things like quiet prayer or adoration, or are asked to listen for an extended period, or when the imagery is not fast changing we are easily bored.
And boredom feeds right into sloth. The “still, small voice of God,” the quiet of prayer, the simple reading of Scripture and pondering its message, the unfolding of spiritual meaning through reflection, the slower joys of normal human conversation in communal prayer and fellowship…none of this appeals to many who are hyper-stimulated, and used to a breakneck pace. Sunday, once the highlight of the week for many (due to the music, the beauty of the liturgy, the hearing of the sermon, the joy of fellowship and the quiet of Holy Communion), is now considered by many as boring and about as appealing as getting a flu shot; a necessary evil at best. Thus, sloth is fueled by the boredom our culture feels at anything not going 90 miles and hour."
I used to think this was an affliction suffered mostly by young people who are more adapt at technology. But our fast-paced culture is beginning to affect people of all ages. And it's not just movies, video games, the internet or other technology that feeds our stimulation. Businesses in smaller communities are open longer to capture the late-night market that was somewhat rare just a decade ago. Even the way in which we want our information has changed. We want it in soundbites boiled down to bumper sticker simplicity. It's not only affecting our spirituality, it's affecting our relationships with one another. Progress is good, but at any cost?