What should holiness look like in today’s culture?

I have a deep conviction that one of the ways of holiness in today’s modern age is about taking intentional steps towards non-dependency on technology. I see a generation that is addicted to distraction. People are now walking from point A to point B staring at their phones unaware of the beauty of the surrounding world. Computers are now phones. You can put it in your pocket and whenever you are bored or feeling socially awkward or even if you aren’t even thinking about it, your phone quickly becomes your refuge. Human interaction is no longer necessary for kids today. It’s become so easy to create your ideal image of yourself and your life on social media profiles. False identities are rampant online and I don’t see this as a good thing in any way. Today holiness is about rejecting systems of technology that encourage people to invest in a device of distraction and instead look to basic ways of connecting with others and with God in a real face to face way that seeks to put the sacredness back into real life, real time, and the real beauty, ambiguity, tragedy, and wonder of our world.

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Metal Heart

I should have written last night.

Last night I had minor insomnia. It wasn’t too bad, but it definitely wasn’t ideal. I was so anxious about the Darkpine release show. I just wanted everything to go smoothly. But oh well, insomnia for one night isn’t the end of the world for me. I know how it is. The next day is crap, but I end up getting over it.

I really don’t have too much to say, but I feel like it’s become a healthy habit to write after having insomnia. It’s a good way for me to express the emotions that easily escape into a lonely part of my brain that wants nothing to do with the world. The more honest I am with myself and others, the fuller I feel. I don’t feel too human when I allow my pent up thoughts and emotions to remain imprisoned within my soul. So in some way this is a form of setting those feelings free.

Tonight was so great. So many of my friends came to support us. Everything about the night was essentially perfect. Of course we messed up a little bit, and of course not everything went as planned but I can’t complain about any of that, which is why I wondered as I drove back home why I felt somewhat sad. Why is it that when I leave my friends I no longer feel whole? There are times when I’m afraid to be by myself, alone with my skeleton because I don’t feel complete outside the context of other people.

Or maybe I was sad because my lifelong dream of being in love with someone has not yet become a reality. I’ve romanticized this idea of falling in love way too much. I’m not going to meet someone tomorrow and know instantly that she will be my wife, but somehow I can’t go a day without imaging what it would be like to share my life with someone that I deeply love. I suppose the lie is that somehow I will finally be the complete ‘me’ when I find her, and that now I am some partial human who will inevitably struggle to live into the fullness of human existence. But I can be whole now, I think.

Maybe I was sad because while music does bring me an immense amount of joy, it still leaves me unsatisfied, as most things do. The only time I feel completely content with who I am and where I exist on this planet earth within the story of creation is when I get to hang out with group staff. I feel God in the middle of those relationships and nothing else matters in those times but loving them and them loving me back—just the way life should be. It makes me wonder what I want to pursue with my life after college. Can I please just get paid for having the most wonderful friends and for exploring who God is and who God has created me to be? That would be nice.

Any way, that’s all for now. Not very poetic, but this is me tonight and I hope you are well, whoever you are.

– Nolan