(1) Digitally Bad Manners
You’re enjoying a peaceful breakfast at your favourite eatery. Next to you are two couples doing likewise. A phone rings loudly and the peace of the dining experience is disturbed.
He picks up his phone from where all diners had placed theirs like six guns at a serious poker game, and settles in for a long, loud conversation, having turned side-on to his companions; now angled towards us.
Mr Loud-mouth has shattered our peace as we’re now subjected at close range to every word of his side of the conversation.
At his table the others mutter a few syllables but otherwise sit looking vacantly into space…waiting. Sound familiar?
The bleedin’ obvious thing to do?
Let the call go to message bank and enjoy the pre-arranged breakfast. Basic courtesy dictates that his companions deserve to receive his undivided attention, emergency excepted.
Instead, our breakfast companion broadcasts to all and sundry that he values the caller’s conversation more than the company of his fellows.
Why have we allowed communication technology to so dominate us that immediate contact must be made no matter what the circumstances?
Any word from God here?
Jesus says: In everything “do” to others as you would have them “do” to you. (Matthew chapter 7 verse 12). He does not express it as a negative (‘do not do’ i.e. refrain from doing although that also applies), but as a positive:“do”.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others (Philippians chapter 2 verse 4), and Love your neighbour as yourself. (Leviticus chapter 19 verse 18).
Albert Einstein said: I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.
The message here? Don’t answer it!
But if the call comes from God, do not let it go to message bank. Answer it quickly. A positive answer will benefit you forever.
(2) 50 years later
A long time in our lifetime but not in the history of the world.
Fifty plus years ago as a teenager, I lived what was regarded as a typical, normal incident-free life. At my all-boys high school only one boy drove a car to school.
The internet had not been invented (or at least was not available at our fingertips via a smart phone, tablet or PC), television was ‘on the horizon’, and drugs were unheard of. The most wayward drug-user smoked marijuana.
A murder or rape may have been distantly heard of once-in-a-lifetime, and the now commonplace crimes such as stabbings (frequently multiple), muggings, coward punches, drive-by shootings, gangland killings, home invasions, public/binge drinking, street drunkenness and brawling, and shocking crimes committed under the influence of hard drugs such as ice, were simply unheard of.
Yet we don’t ask why
There is an almost universally maintained atheistic mindset in Australia, and its offspring (evolutionary thinking) necessarily follows; but collectively we have not made the connection between (un)belief and its result, between cause and effect.
It’s not just a case of shifting social values: a declining sense of community.
With there only being a feint hint of national spirituality, personal responsibility or answerability to a higher Power, this has resulted in us witnessing daily on our television screens all of the above worsening degenerative behaviour.
Jesus said to the crowd: When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, It’s going to rain, and it does…You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time? (Luke chapter 12 verses 54-56).
Were we living in a society that widely practised Jesus’ words sometimes called the ‘golden rule’ vis. do to others what you would have them do to you, (Matthew chapter 7 verse 12), little of the above would occur.
Is He for real?
The most devastatingly effective trick played by man’s mortal enemy Satan, is to beguile ordinary decent people into believing that he does not exist. So with longing in our voice we simply conclude that life ‘just isn’t what it used to be when we were kids’, leaving us wishing for the good old days.
But God sees through Satan’s deceit and has warned us that the devil: prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter chapter 5 verse 8 ): that he is: filled with fury “because” he knows that his time is short. (Revelation chapter 12 verse 12).
God said earlier in the same verse: woe to the earth and sea [the sea of humanity] because the devil has gone down to you. Woe indeed because the deterioration of our world naturally flows from our chosen state of dark unbelief. Anzac Day and Halloween are more valued than Easter Sunday.
A millennial thinks otherwise
“I’ve come to find one of the reasons I believe the world is getting better is because we have access to information on how bad the world actually is…Not only are young people growing into the world of politics, but they’re engaged in a way where they understand that they can actually change the course of history, as opposed to just being a part of it.” (Trevor Noah, The Thing About Millennials, TIME Magazine 15/1/18 p23).
My way or the highway
A spectacular future awaits those who choose to follow Jesus. They will be spared from the above before it reaches intolerable proportions.
Tragically not so for those who, in the words and sentiment of the famous Frank Sinatra song, ‘I did it my way’. Jesus came to save us from that fate far worse than death, but we’ve got to say ‘yes’ to Him first.
Gavin Lawrie is a retired Barrister and Solicitor from Tweed Heads NSW Australia and author of the book: 'THE EVIDENCE OF EVOLUTION: Uncovering The Faulty Science Of Dawkins' Attack On Creationism'. He is married to Jan with two adult children and they are grandparents
Gavin Lawrie's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/gavin-lawrie.html.
Gavin Lawrie is a retired Barrister and Solicitor from Tweed Heads NSW Australia and author of the book: 'THE EVIDENCE OF EVOLUTION: Uncovering The Faulty Science Of Dawkins' Attack On Creationism'. He is married to Jan with two adult children and they are grandparents.
Gavin Lawrie's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/gavin-lawrie.html