Rachel Mann, a British author, controversial heavy metal rock critic, and rector of St Nicholas's, Burnage, Manchester, has a piece in the Church Times about technology, distraction, and the need for "space to be and to breathe:"
Our current fascination with being ever-available, however, strikes me as troubling, and even potentially sinful. Being constantly connected only worsens that common perception of modern living: we lack space to be and to breathe.
It is striking, then, that one of the implications of the Hebrew term for salvation, yasha, is "spaciousness". To be "saved" in Old Testament terms is to be brought into a place of space. It does not take an especially lively wit to recognise how significant this notion is for Jewish understandings of the Promised Land. The land is conceived as a spacious place, a place of salvation.
It should equally not come as a surprise that yasha is a root for Jesus's Hebrew name. While we should not rush to over-spiritualise the notion ofyasha, it is surely significant that the experience of spaciousness - of a place where you might breathe - should be important to us as people of faith.
If, however, technology can leave us feeling lacking in space and time, the human hunger for relationship will not be kept down. In an age when communication has become instant and unmysterious, many people are rediscovering the pleasures of doing something as simple as physically writing to others. I take this as a sign of people's hunger for salvation and God - for space and connection.