Our society has a fixation with keeping connected to information or each other. I don’t usually get on my soap box as the step up leaves me vulnerable to falling off. However, I thought long and hard and prayed about this week’s column. The question to consider is what would happen if we were as connected to God as we are to our electronic devices? Would it make a difference in our lives? I think it would change our world.
Let’s begin with cell phones. In the last century cell phones were something out of science fiction and then became available for the very wealthy. Visiting with others we discussed how some people didn’t even have phones before the 1950-60’s. Before that time if someone needed to relay information quickly they sent telegrams. Receiving a telegram, especially during war time was a dreaded occurrence as it usually meant bad news.
When Mark and I got married we didn’t have a phone in our new home. If someone needed to get in touch with us they called his grandmother next door. Every Saturday I would take $5 in quarters and walk downtown to use a pay phone to call my family. The quarters always ran out before we were through visiting.
The main way to stay in touch was through writing letters which is fast becoming a lost art. I looked forward to seeing the postman arrive in hopes of receiving a letter. Today I still have several of those letters and cards and they are more precious today as many of the writers are now home in heaven.
Fast forward to the present where everywhere you go you see people either talking on their phones or texting. It makes me wonder if they even know where they are going.
In a meeting I went to recently, everyone except myself pulled out their cell phones and placed them on the table. Someone asked about my phone and I said I left it at home. You would think I had left my shoes at home. When I was told someone would text me with additional information I had to tell them I never text with my phone and the one time I tried it didn’t go through. Jokingly I said my idea of texting was a Big Chief Tablet and a pencil.
This brings me to my biggest gripe…using a cell phone or I-pad when you are at the table with others. I know someone who is constantly looking at their phone at the table ignoring all those around them. I learned the hard way not to mention the weather as they would pull out their phone and give a complete forecast.
Once I took care of a young girl while her parents were out of town. She constantly had her phone in her hand and was always looking at it, waiting for the next text to come in. When she was late getting up the next morning, I asked why she slept in. She responded she was up half the night texting her friends.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1 it says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”. While I enjoy the convenience of my electronic devices and staying connected, I am adamant they are not going to control me. Going back to my prior question, how can I stay more connected with God? Prayer is a vital way to communicate with God as long as you listen for Him to answer. Another way is through the love letter provided us known as the Bible. Like my letters, it is precious and its message leads me to go back and read it over and over. Every time it provides the message I need to help with the situation at hand.
Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at: