I was almost 40 when I got my first cell phone. Actually, my wife and I got one phone to share. Later, we got phones for our sons as they were starting to drive.
Today I hear that children as young as 6 have their own phones. Now, please stay with me. I’m not about to go on an old man, "Get off my lawn," rant. But I want you to consider some of the changes, both good and bad, that have resulted in the proliferation of cell phones.
Here’s one fact that is both good and bad: You are never out of touch. That’s good because you can be reached in case of an emergency. I remember it taking several days to notify a friend’s father that his son had been in a car accident. The dad was hiking and camping.
But it’s also bad. I used to enjoy getting away from everything when I went to the golf course or to the river to fish. I didn’t have to take calls, because there was no way to reach me. Sure the phone is welcome in times of emergency. Still there are times when it is a relief to be "off the grid."
Brother Richard Smith counseled my wife and me prior to our wedding. We met with him several times and he shared with us the wisdom he had learned about marriage from the Bible as well as the 50-plus years he had been counseling.
I think the most important thing he taught us was accidental, or at least incidental. We were at his home when about halfway through a session his phone rang. Tina and I got quiet, expecting him to answer it. He just kept talking to us. With each ring I got more and more tense. "Why isn’t he answering that?" I wondered.
Sensing our discomfort he smiled and said, "I’ve learned if you just sit quietly, that ringing will stop." And then we continued our conversation. Keep this in mind. He didn’t even have an answering machine. He was counting on the fact that if the call was important, they would call back. In the meantime, we were of greater importance to him on that day.
How many times do you find yourself fiddling with your phone, or watching TV, or doing anything else while your children, your spouse or someone important to you is ignored?
Let us be careful to care for our family and friends the way that Jesus cared for his disciples. Give them your full attention. You will not regret it.