Theology of Speed

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We live in an accelerated society. What is this acceleration doing to our faith? Is there a theology of speed? Kosuke Koyama in his book, Three Mile an Hour God, appears to strive to present such a theology. Such theology is an urgent need of the hour as the faithful as well as the leadership in the Church are also being influenced by our accelerated society. Koyama’s theology calls us to stop, slow down and see God around us. He teaches us that we have to be reminded again that ‘ man does not live by bread alone’. He thinks that our over-dependence on technology and the acceleration that it brings may prove to be fatal although there are several blessings with it. He says we have to go back three miles an hour to God to converse and be shaped by the love of God. To come to this relationship with God we need to come to terms with time.

Timelessness seems to make us homeless. Out of time makes us out of place. We, therefore, do not want to be orphaned by time. We hope to flow with time. We wish to be with time and not against time. This has set us on a rat race to catch up with an accelerated time. We are thirsting after what time can give and are anxiously feeling that time is running out for us. We seem to think that we are left with no time and we have to quickly get our act together lest we lose the race. This sense of being out of time is pushing us to catch up with the racing time and hence, we have abandoned ourselves to time and are complexly pushed by its accelerations. We begin to talk about the developmental language and programme of the parabolic rich fool. We tell ourselves we can build new barns and tell ourselves to ease and enjoy the rest of our life. It is a sense of withdrawal from a life of compressed timelines. We desire to take things easy and come to rest. But the resting point comes only when we collect a rich harvest. The lust for rich harvest keeps us going that is taking us to burn the candles at both ends unmindful of our health.

Maybe we have the challenge to remember St. Augustine who taught us that we are restless until we rest in God. Perhaps, the manner in which we are lost in the running time, God may be posing the question addressed to Adam and Eve: Where are you? We are being addressed by God to come to rest with him. We have the challenge to find the holiness of the sabbath and find our true selves again. Sabbath mirrors God of creation and God of the exodus. When it failed to do the same, Jesus taught that sabbath was made for man and not man-made for the Sabbath. It is in coming back to the sabbath that we discover the company of God of creation and God of exodus. This means that rather than being enslaved by time, we have the challenge to rise above the running time and meet the Lord of time, who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. It is by coming to the Lord of time that we can hope to free ourselves from our enslavement to life that keeps us violently busy. It is the Lord of Time that can heal us from this paralysis.

We have tied ourselves to the working of the night and day, thus placing ourselves in the place of the creator. This is why coming to the sabbath can bring us to the Creator who will set us free and enable us to reorder and realign our work and life to the order of creation that he set for us from the being of time. Our developmental technologies are accelerating us. They are pushing the limits of night and day. One day, one week, one month and one year seems to be not enough. There is always less or no time. This is why we need the experience of exodus. We need the experience of freedom from the slavery of time, the new Egypt that holds us captive. Coming to the God of exodos takes us to Christ and his Paschal mystery. The resurrection of our Lord Jesus is a victory over passing time. We can rise to Kairos through our Chronos. Our work can become our worship. For now, we are possessed by the unclean Spirit of timeliness. Jesus Christ through his passion and death and resurrection has given victory and power over all powers of darkness. We can refuse to be pushed and accelerated by time. We can slow down. We can walk three miles an hour or forty years in the desert and find God. Let us come to the son of man, the Lord of the Sabbath! Holiness is deep and all-pervading. Let us crucify our enslavements to find the fullness of life in the resurrection of our Lord and be at peace (Shalom)

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao