Life in the Slower Lane




40 years of cell phones.  Last week the cell phone celbrated its 40th birthday.  That first phone was 10 inches long and weighed 2 1/2 pounds!  How far they have come since that time. Today with over 6 billion people having cell phones it is difficult to imagine living without one available.
     We feel ‘naked’ walking out the door without it.  We text, face-book, twitter, read books, keep organized and keep our calendars. If our car sputters or we are late, we call or text. We send email, watch our favorite episodes, check the weather, news and even talk with someone! 
   Talking is central to any relationship. “Enoch enjoyed a close relationship with God throughout his life.  Then suddenly, he disappeared because God took him.” (Genesis 5:24)  With all our dependence upon two way communication the wonder of talking with God becomes lost, replaced by the wonder of modern smart phones.
     The batteries run down, they get dropped, wet, lost, stolen, misplaced, or outdated. Besides all that they are expensive!
    It is still true that the best things in life are free.  Free!
     We recently asked people to sign up for 30 minute slots from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm for prayer in our sanctuary.   We left a book for people to record their ‘texts’ to God (prayers in old tehnological terminology). Reading these prayers which were meant to be shared, I found them filled with wonder, praise, and joy and trust.
    When did we last feel lost in wonder or joy as we spent time with our phone?  When did our phone promise us a full, rich life?  When did our phone leave us with a peace that transcended all our circumstances?
    I have a cell phone.  Like you I feel ‘naked’ when I leave it behind.  I am writing this article with it now.
    But I also put it aside, turn it off or put it on ‘stun’.   I choose not to answer it when I am talking with someone or with Someone.  I choose to not look at email or texts when I am spending time off.  If we don’t choose sometimes to be un-wired, or unplugged from from our fast lane world we will miss something – Someone greater.  


I am looking at myself. I must have been 8 or 9 years old sitting on the bank of a creek. My mother, an artist by trade, painted me sitting there looking at the stick I had just tossed into the water. Surrounded by the beauty of trees, rocks, and hills I watch the ripples extend in all directions. Up and down and side to side the ripples move across that stream. My stick moves quietly down the slowly moving stream, bumping, rolling, and bouncing its way perhaps all the way to the ocean!

That was long ago and far away but still my mind goes back. I still love to toss rocks and sticks into the water.

Like that stick changing the face of the water by its presence, so does everything around us change by our presence. A kind word or a harsh one, an act of generosity or of selfishness changes forever our world rippling across time.

Easter Sunday has just come and gone reminding us of God’s power to change us forever. Jesus’ solitary Life, freeing us from captivity to ourselves, was a tidal wave reaching across all of time changing our lives forever. As you and I are caught by its force we are changed. We in turn change others, who then change others continuing the ripple across time.

Easter Sunday is behind us but its wave crashing across our lives stretches to this day and all our days. That one act of obedience in death forever changed the world, time and eternity cascading across time. Our every action, word, or attitude which springs from a life changed forever by His, ripples across the stream wherever we are.