The Lure of Compressed Spiritual Growth

Tony Reinke

We live each day within a storm of information with no shortage of insightful content available to us. Within this context, it becomes easy to believe "that super-spirituality is most attainable by those who ingest the highest quantity of edifying media," as Tony Reinke puts it. This is clearly false, but it's tempting to believe it because we are all part of what Hartmut Rosa calls the acceleration society.

Acceleration, Reinke explains, "is the desire we feel to collapse life into a series of discrete moments and experiences — email to email, tweet to tweet, text to text, snap to snap, meeting to meeting, image to image, and video clip to video clip. All of life, even real experiences with hard edges, are rendered into moments or incidents. Like LEGO pieces, the moments of our lives are made into discrete bricks, stacked end to end, in order to be compressed into a smaller time-cost." As we cram in more experiences, time seems to speed up – and the result is usually burnout rather than enduring satisfaction.

We can't escape the acceleration society, but we can adopt a more helpful paradigm for growth. Read "Compressing Spiritual Growth in the Age of Acceleration" to learn about one. You can also pre-order Tony Reinke's forthcoming book Competing Spectacles: Treasuring Christ in the Media Age.

Pouring Coffee