Wonder

There’s an island group in the magical waters of the North Channel simply called, “The Benjamin’s.”

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When we arrive with a full complement of sailboats and students, our kids launch themselves into the translucent waters, swim ashore and begin running and island hopping. The exploration is extraordinary. And the gateway to it all is wonder.

Wonder. It’s the magnetic pull which draws kids into exploring, learning and education.

In his extraordinary article, Boys, Porn and Education, Sean Fitzpatrick says,

…pornography creates a barrier to wonder by numbing the sense of wonder. Without wonder, education is a crippled thing at best.

He goes on to discuss how one of our most sacred sources of wonder- our sexuality- is stripped away by voyeuristic desensitization to beauty:

Wonder is the beginning of wisdom, the very occasion of education, and pornography wounds the ability to wonder…it creates desensitization to beauty, robbing boys of their innocence through the elimination of the mysteries of the heart, severely impairing their ability to be awed or find pleasure in the beautiful…boys are finally lost to apathy in a world that fails to titillate.

And…

…blasphemy of reality results in a loss of desire for reality.

You and I didn’t wake up today thinking, “wow, I sure hope I can read another article on porn.” But when something so fresh and different comes along, it helps us create the kind of environment in which our kids can thrive. The assignment here is simple:

What can I do to expose my kids to wonder?

 

 

 

eSports

Technology continues to level the playing field. It wasn’t long after professional sports teams began trading players like used cars that fans felt betrayed and created fantasy sports. We told the athletic bureaucracy that they were no longer in charge. From now on, it will be about my team. In an age of technology, the top-down, authoritarian model no longer works. So sports enthusiasts democratized and equalized and individualized their particular team. We shake our heads when reading that the revenue surrounding fantasy football (derivative market) has grown larger than that of the entire National Football League (foundational market).

Enter eSports. Organized video-game competitions. When the Staples Center in LA sells out to gamers in less than one day, when the prize $ for a gaming competition exceeds the 2014 PGA championship purse and when Amazon & Facebook are spending billions in acquisitions, we can forecast the future.

Consider that:

  • Oculus Rift is the most realistic and immersive virtual reality
  • Oculus Rift raised $2.5 million via Kickstarter in 2012
  • Facebook just bought Oculus Rift for $2 billion

You get it? Zuckerberg (Facebook) is making a huge bet that your personal computing platform will soon be virtual reality. Don’t passively watch sports like a couch-potato, enter the game and experience other players reacting to you. Don’t email someone and wait for their response, join them in Paris for cafe au lait. Don’t believe me? You’ll soon be sitting street side at a table, experiencing the European sights and sounds while others side-step you en route to where they’re going.

A gamer from a different country can now obtain athlete status for immigration and competition purposes in the U.S. In the same way, your access to the world is changing as fast as the Amazons and Facebooks make acquisitions. Technology takes what used to be passive observing and converts it to an immersive experience. It absolutely disintegrates authoritarian structures where gatekeepers held all the power. It becomes available to all people. Equalized. Democratized.

The goose-bump excitement about the whole deal comes when considering the spread of Jesus’ fame and forgiveness. If email is now a training requirement for new employees (it’s so outdated that the generation entering the workforce doesn’t know how to use it), if Facebook, Twitter and other forms of information exchange are more interactive, then imagine what might happen with the expansion of the Gospel.

In speaking of the future, an angel once said,

“But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.” (Daniel 12:4)

To increase knowledge? The end of time will be characterized by an increase of knowledge? That’s a phrase to keep in mind as digital information explodes.