When it comes to gadgets just call me Mr. How-in-the-World-Does-This-Work. I fully understand that our world runs on gadgets. According to some, we owe a great deal to the gadgets of this world whatever they may be. I just hope my credit is good.
That being so, let me just say how much I dislike and distrust and am filled with disgust at gadgets of all kinds. Primarily, because I have no idea of how they work. Of course, I have no idea of how I work... or even if I do work.
Occasionally the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage will come upon Yours Truly and ask a simple question. "What are you doing right now?"
It's really not the question so much as how she asks the question that bothers me. Whenever I tell her I am working, she sarcastically tosses her hair to one side and simply says, "Ha," and walks away. Unfortunately, I have no hair to toss to one side. I think she does it just to exacerbate me.
But getting back to the mysterious world of gadgetry, it is very hard to go without running into some kind of a gadget. The overwhelming assumption is that everybody knows what a particular gadget is, how it works and what it is supposed to do. I think that is too much to assume.
Whatever happened to the good old days when you did not need a gadget to do anything? Oh, how I long for that utopia of yesteryear. Reading my Bible thoroughly I have found nothing resembling a gadget of any description to be found in heaven. Amen.
Drive down a busy street in any town and you will find the driver in the car opposite to you fiddling was some gadget in his hand called a cell phone. Drivers are always texting or talking or whatever else you can do on a cell phone. I have all I can do to navigate my car away from those people focused on some kind of a gadget. Where will it ever stop?
Not only in cars, but walking in the shopping mall has become quite a hazardous venture. Nobody is paying attention to where they are going because everybody is on a cell phone. I have run into several people, none of which stopped to say, "I'm sorry," but kept right on walking and talking as though nothing ever happened. They are absolute slaves to that cell phone.
Just the other day I was driving during rush hour downtown and happened to look at the car next to me. Driving the car was a woman with a cigarette in one hand and a cell phone in the other hand talking to beat the band. And boy, would I like to beat that band. It is a good thing she had only two hands, goodness knows what else she would be doing. I had a momentary panic attack, not knowing what was going to happen or if she would swerve into my lane without knowing what she was doing.
But cell phones are just one of the many gadgets that have infiltrated into the sphere of human activity.
In an office supply store recently I happened to notice one of those new iPads. I must confess that curiosity got the best of me. I had heard a lot about this gadget and I wanted to see how it worked. Supposedly, and I do not believe everything I'm told, this iPad had thousands of books loaded onto it. I held it in my hand and I could hardly believe that it contained so much material. But, who am I to question the latest sales gimmick.
Looking at it I tried to find the on and off switch. There has to be some way to turn this blasted thing on. Finally, a salesperson came up and said quite cheerfully, "Can I help you?"
"I can't seem to find the on switch," I said.
"There isn't any," he said with a rather smirk on his map.
I looked at him quizzically and he just smiled.
"All you do," he said like some stuck up Ivy League college professor, "is touch the screen."
I looked at him as though he had lost all his marbles to a first-grade champion marble shooter. Everybody, and I mean everybody, knows to turn something on you need to have a switch, some kind of button you push to get the gadget running.
I looked at the iPad and then looked back to him and then I touched the screen just to show the salesperson that he did not have a clue as to what time of day it was. To my consternation as soon as I touched the screen the blasted thing came on. I did not look at the salesperson but I knew, deep down in my soul, I knew he was laughing rather sarcastically at me.
Between cell phones and iPads, I am not faring too well in this gadget crazy world. Sometimes it is rather frustrating.
Fortunately, God is not impressed with gadgets. The simplicity of the gospel message is found in what Paul says. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV).
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores.