Religious Reflections

Technology not needed to reach God

I'm not sure what the big draw is, but my sisters have taken to sending me emails about the problems "old" people have. You know, the little messages that illustrate how the old timers are forgetful and can't find anything. Or they have little jokes about the inability of people in my age group to handle all the new technology.

I remember back in high school (when dinosaurs still roamed the earth) that I was supposed to use a telephone in speech class. People said my voice went up in pitch every time I talked on the phone. Ah, the stress of technology was in force even back then. I still don't like to use the phone.

And honestly, I simply have no need to use an ATM machine. So why should I have to learn how? I did have an ATM card for a while, doesn't that count for something? The bank finally asked me if I was ever going to use the card. When I said, "Probably not," they asked if they could have the card back. Well, it was one less card to carry in my wallet, so I thanked them for taking it off my hands. I really like going to a teller...a real live person - to do my banking.

I was astonished to see the Christmas commercials that showed a little radio controlled car bang against a front door. The householder opened the door to see who was there and finally noticed the little car at her feet. It had a small video monitor mounted on it. Then we see the next door neighbors waving out of their window as the video begins to play a Christmas carol they recorded. I thought, "Why aren't the neighbors at the door to deliver their message of love, personally?"

Another commercial showed neighbors standing at the door. When the family opens the door to greet them, the neighbors hand them a card, but do not speak. Finally one of them motions to the family to open the card. When the card is opened a recorded Christmas carol is played. Why can't the neighbors just sing the carol? Sometimes technology just gets in the way of relationships.

Maybe I'm just not technologically "With it," but I think there is much to be said for delivering messages in person, especially messages of love!

I am so glad that God wasn't content to just email us about his love for us. He came personally to deliver the message. And that message of His love is still best delivered person to person.

I am not saying that technology is bad. But, living, breathing relationships are things to be treasured and cultivated. Don't you also feel that way when you finally get through all the menu items on the phone to reach a real live person?

Thank God, He is still just a prayer (a breath) away. No buttons to push. No software to install. John Oxenham wrote: "Speak with Him, Thou, for He hears and Spirit with spirit can meet. Closer is He than breathing and nearer than hands and feet."

You don't have to wait. Talk with Him.

Michael Hughes is pastor of the First Baptist Church, Sunnyside


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