There is a common intuition we have these days that too much screen time is not good for us. It narrows us, flattens our perception, depletes us physically, and, even with all the information it gives us access to, leaves us ignorant of the reality (people and circumstances) right before our eyes. So, we talk of the need (as I have in these posts) to unplug, cordon off time and space from our devices, and to simply get outside: to disengage so that we might engage! Such intuition is not premised on a negative view of technology--that somehow it is intrinsically evil. Rather, it is premised on the intuition that the kind of knowledge we gain through technology is insufficient to living well.
The fault is not in our screens but in our genes. We were made for more than a technologically mediated world can ever reveal. That intuition is, I think, the beginning of wisdom.
The Bible declares "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." (Prov. 9:10) Perhaps the fear named in this phrase is the kind of fear I remember feeling when I first held our firstborn (Julia) in my arms and she looked up into my eyes when I called her name. That sense of awesome responsibility for her and a kind of ‘fear’ that I would fail to be the person sufficient to the task of fatherhood. It was a fear, one might say, borne of love. I didn't dwell in or on such fear...but it was indispensable in orienting me to what truly mattered in and to my life. It is not a dwelling place but a place to begin...again and again.
A word from St. Patrick in honor of his day:
“Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know.
― St. Patrick