A good Netflix documentary can make for a relaxing weekend. I've been creating a list of the best Netflix documentaries, and it's always fun to hear what other people have been enjoying.
The past few weeks, Michelle and I have been enjoying "How We Got To Now" with host Steven Johnson, which had previously released as a PBS and BBC documentary. It is an absolutely fascinating exploration into some of the essential modern innovations that have given our lives so much benefit today.
Steven Johnson, an author on inventions and breakthroughs in history shares some of the most powerful developments that have benefited humanity today, including light, sound, clean water, cleanliness, and refrigeration.
Before we started watching the documentary, I had actually been thinking of much of this already. A week or two before I had sat in a local coffeeshop with a friend talking about how much we have to be thankful for today. How so many essential provisions in our lives are easy, automatic, and taken for granted.
For instance, so many of us in the Western world have fresh, running water available at the nudge of a faucet handle. We don't have to go walking many miles for half-decent water every day.
Food is readily available at a restaurant, or grocery store, or now even through online delivery to our front door. We don't have to go through the process of foraging or preparing food like most people through world history. It is all done for us, and easily accessible.
Light and electricity and telephones are common, expected necessities nowadays, when our ancestors just one or two hundred years ago wouldn't have been able to believe their eyes at such opportunities.
The list could go on and on. How many countless hours of the day was spent through nearly all of human history to do the things like finding food, water, communicating, and the like, that take us just moments to utilize today, thanks to brilliant inventors, tinkerers, modern innovations, mass market production assembly lines and many centuries of progress.
But most of the time, most of us don't stop to think about how blessed we are to have such things. They go mostly unnoticed, and unappreciated, even though they have drastically changed so much of our daily lives, concerns, schedules and possibilities.
Jesus said, "To whom much was given, of much will be required." (Luke 12:48)
Jesus relates this statement following his story about the servants who were each given a certain amount and set forth by their Master to accomplish something with what they were given.
This challenging truth from Jesus is more profound and meaningful today than it ever has been.
Who has been given much? We have. Who has access to clean, running water, plenty of food, opportunities for work, inventions that simplify so much of life? We do.
We have more time and opportunity for sharing the great love of God in Christ with the world than any generation in history. So much of the benefits and inventions that have had the greatest impact on our daily life have come within the past one or two hundred years. Some, like the internet has come within the past few decades. We are the first generation to enjoy some of these awesome privileges.
It is our time, and we have been given much. We will give an account before God with what we did with what we were given.
So let’s be intentional about doing our work with excellence, and taking advantage of the extra time we are afforded with our family, and with the easy opportunity to talk about our love for the Lord to thousands online with the click of a button, and with our investment into serving our local churches. We have been given so much. Let’s do something amazing with it.