It’s time to upgrade my phone. Planned obsolescence is making my current smartphone weaken just as I’ve paid it off. My carrier is offering me an array of new and improved “phones” to entice me.
I remember my parents’ house phone, it lasted decades and the only change was the long cord they purchased as their daughters hit the teen years and demanded privacy.
In college and beyond I lived states away from my parents. Calling them was only weekly because of the expense. Then came discount long distance and I could call more frequently.
I remember my first cell phone, a brick like thing that gave me freedom to call from a variety of places. They were just phones.
Each upgrade from single house phone, to personal princess bedroom phone, from only calling locally to frequent affordable long distance, from phone to cell, from cell to newer cell, then to text, and now to a phone with a computer more powerful than the one that sent men to the moon, a phone with the capabilities beyond what the Jetson’s promised; each new version would have been considered almost a miracle of technology just years prior. Yet, as I research which new phone I want, I am jaded about that miracle. I want one that doesn’t just ” phone home’ but takes pictures and not just pictures but videos and slow-mo’s with crystal clarity. It has to have a huge memory to store all my apps so I can watch TV, watch movies from multiple sources, and bank for me. This phone will find my location and then direct me to where I want to go anywhere in the world. It will give me the ability to write essays, letters, grocery lists and not only save those missives but sync them with other devices. It will provide and store a musical playlist created by me or have one created for me. I sill e able to video chat with anyone anywhere, research anything, every thing, at anytime. It will tell me what to do and when to do it and then…well just do more and more and more. AN I want all these things at an affordable price.
You know what? I’m going to get this amazing “miraculous” piece of technology because so does everyone. My phone wish list doesn’t seem that big of a deal. Technological miracles are passe and expected.
I am in my 60’s. I have deftly survived cancer. I have two new knees and a rebuilt shoulder. I was partially blinded in an accident and have a false eye that looks completely natural. I have been rebuilt to a degree that years ago would have had be considered considered as an early version of an cyborg. Medical miracles. Also passe.
But I don’t feel theses miracles of life. Like the smartphone choices those are passe’ . Is anything enough? Like a winy two year old, there is a hole of desire. I want more miracles.
I can feel the same hole that people have felt in their beings since there have been people. I wake up way too often and worry, that despite my super sized smart TV that listens to m voice commands, despite the massive amount of entertainment at my finger tips, despite reading material that I don’t have to browse to find or turn a page to read, despite medicine and and a lever of fitness that keeps me humming as I age, despite a life that only Jules Verne predicted, I spend too much time worrying and longing for fill in the blank.
In this age of wonder and miracles, my search for peace is like my search for a smartphone, kind of endless. I want more. I believe that more will calm my soul and fill the hole.
My answer isn’t in whether I get an Apple or an Android, but you already know that because you are doing the same search.
Jesus said to his disciples –
Oh now don’t turn me off because I bring up Jesus, stay with me for just a second more. Please.
Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous …but for the food that endures to eternal life” (John 6:26/27).
You and I both know, and we know this because research and the media casually reminds us constantly in magazines, in our shows with Hallmark endings, in books, in news reports; that peace and joy cannot be found in the number of apps we have or the modern medical miracles we rely on. You and I both know that peace cannot be found in the more of life, but in the quiet. It’s there in the space between the miracles we take for granted.
I don’t need a new smartphone to get it. I need an older type of phone, one that never withers in obsolescence. I have the ability to connect with a service provider that doesn’t shut down for maintenance, or disappear in rural areas. The communication package that guarantees me a peace that “transcends all understanding” is found in Philippians 4. “Do not be anxious for about anything, but in every situation, by prayer, petition and Thanksgiving present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:5-7).
The package, like every package from any provider, is specific.
ONE. Prayer – a moment of dial-up to connect with God. I don’t need formal words, just sitting in quiet asking God to chat will do.
TWO. Petition – The “Dear God, this is what I need portion”.
THREE. Thanksgiving – a moment of true gratitude for all that I have been given .
Finally, FOUR., Hang up, go about my day and trust that peace will come.
Will my petition be answered the way I want it?
I’m too old to believe in fairy wishes. I know that sometimes the response is yes, sometimes its no, and more often than not it’s wait. There is so much mysterious grief and pain in our lives that aren’t fixed by simply asking a Higher Power to fix it.
What I do get is peace. A level of peace that allows me to move forward despite the pain. A level of peace that allows me to get my nose out of my navel, and help some one or find even joy in a different direction. A level of peace that doesn’t have me recklessly searching, buying, eating, drinking, drugging, or begging in order to feel ok. It is a level of peace that really does “transcend all understanding”.
And to get it I don’t have to sign up for a two year contract.