Learning to Linger in a Spotify Age

Humans were made to gaze. God uses long, loving looks at Christ in the gospel as a primary means to our sanctification (2 Cor. 3:18). Experience confirms this intent in my own life. My greatest times of growth and dependence on God have come when I’ve taken an extra hour, day, or week to wrestle with a passage, meditate on a truth, or enjoy a promise. I remember pinning the apostle Paul to the ground one Sunday afternoon as a junior in high school, trying my hardest to understand what he meant by “the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension” (Phil. 4:7). 

The best things in life don’t come in an instant but over time, which means we must cultivate the ability to wait, listen, and linger.

Our age, though, is one of short-form content. We live in a world of bits and bytes, snippets and sermonettes, scores of one-liners—140 characters or less if you please. In the early 2000s, as the capacity for greater bandwidth grew, a new era of audio and video streaming services was born. The internet exploded with on-demand songs and shows. Today, streaming music services are even closing in on iTunes for the lion’s share of the market. Spotify, easily the most popular and largest of these services, has more than 75 million users and boasts a whopping 30 million songs in its database. The real kicker is—so long as you’re okay with advertisements—this can all be yours for free. Any takers? 

As good as this sounds, I lament the popularization of streaming services.

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Jimmy NeedhamComment