Can't Leave Home Without It

ipads123 I am sure you have heard the expression as it has been around for possibly three decades. Associated with American Express, the expression encourages holders not to leave home without their American Express credit card

Today, it would seem that our smart phones, computer tablets and the like have replaced the card, for one can do virtually anything on them. They can keep us occupied from waking up to retiring at night. In fact, if not controlled, they can keep us occupied 24/7, and herein lies the danger. Accordingly, I share with you some observations that may prove beneficial.

Recognizing their Worth
It is no doubt that such devices as smart phones and tablets can make life easier for us. By that we can through a small telephone in hand make calls, receive calls as well as prepare, send and receive mails and files. Additionally, we can take policy books with us as well as volumes electronically. Heretofore in traveling I had to ensure that I took what I needed and that proved expensive and strenuous with many heavy volumes but not to day. If that is not enough, I get to carry my photo albums and add to them while virtually anywhere in the world. In short, I am well equipped on the road and so the caption "Can't Leave Home without It" is real. I should mention that my Bible (several versions), Sabbath school quarterly, hymnal and church manuals also go with me. Additionally, there is music, in fact many albums, to keep me inspired; and when the Sabbath has ended, there are numerous games and of course movies to keep one entertained. Now that is amazing! Did we think of such mobile devices with these capabilities?

Recognizing their Danger
Given the benefits of a smart phone and/or tablet as noted above, who and what else does one need? Herein lies danger. One can give less personal and quality time owing to absorption of these electronic gadgets. While they may suffice when to university or when on assigned military duties thousands of miles away from home, there is no substitute for the personal and physical contact. A wife needs to see her husband in person, and each needs to feel the touch and closeness of each other. Likewise a child needs the touch and live smile of mom or dad. The need to have such devices can become addictive and controlling. Before we can fully utilize the current one, manufacturers come out with later models, adding new features enticing one to upgrade, not considering budget but just wanting to be on the cutting edge. As such funds needed to pay bills are diverted to fund the "addiction." Lest you misunderstand, smart phones and the like are necessary. Being able to make that call or connect has saved lives and enhanced relationships. No one will deny this, but like any good thing, there may be abuse. Do we know when to put down? Do we exercise the will to switch off or distance ourselves from them for other needed realities? If we are not careful, they will penetrate all areas of our lives seeking to control us. Such devices must be controlled!

Recognize the Need for Balance and Control
Recognize that these gadgets are for use and not to use us. They are to assist us but not to replace relationships. They are never intended to be in our hands all day and every day. Kimberly Luste Maran, the young adult editor for the Adventist Review in her article published in the August 15, 2013 Review and Herald says, "We must be social on more than social media. We must take the time to enjoy the birds that fly and perch in trees, rather than the ones flung from a slingshot. We can read a paper Bible, or one from an app. But lines must be drawn. Digital use is what we make it. God calls us to Him, and we can find Him on the Internet, in a text message, etc. But temptations abound. Don’t embrace the tyranny of your smart phone or tablet. Pray that Christ gives you and me the wisdom to avoid its shackles."