When a Phone was Just a Phone

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In my whole life, I’ve never gotten a phone for my birthday. It just wasn’t something people gave for gifts when I was a kid. It would have been like wrapping up a broom and dust pan or a new light switch. A phone was just a phone – as important as piped-in water, but nothing to dote on … just something we took for granted and ran to answer when we heard the ring. And the ring tone never varied. No sudden burst of canned music to get our attention! That would have caused alarm! A phone was a phone – nothing more.

But how things have changed! I remember when phones evolved from sitting on a counter or table to hanging on the wall, when the traditional black phone began appearing in colors, and when dialing was replaced by touch-tone and the whole shape of the phone began to change.

But that was only the beginning! TV ads now tell us that everyone of almost any age, even children, need a phone of their own, and that this can provide almost anything you need in life to make you happy! And that includes instant friends to chat with, your own favorite music to plug into, perpetual internet, texting and email access, and the opportunity to record any significant moment for posterity via photo or videotape. But along with this instant access to everyone and everything, comes the temptation to be in your own little world no matter where you actually are, connect to what comforts you or demands your attention from afar, while oblivious to the real world around you.

Cell phone service, battery-powered phones and speaker phone features make it possible to “multi-task” while on the phone. And with answering machines and voice mail, nothing is left to chance; no time is “wasted” on unanswered calls. No more running home to be there when Auntie Jane calls from Florida, or sitting in one place and focusing on nothing but that call when she does. But perhaps good old-fashioned anticipation, and the gift of our time and undivided attention, is being replaced by our “need” for instant accessibility and convenience.

I was happy when I got my first remote phone and found freedom beyond my longest phone cord. But sometimes I’d rather be along the shore of an Alaska ocean beach where I might be out of contact for awhile or with my phone on “mute” along the banks of an Arizona river … with nothing but my own thoughts.

It’s then that my thoughts often turn to God, as I experience the beauty and power of His creation and the power of my connection with Him and all that He has made. It’s a heart to heart connection I don’t need ANY kind of phone for. It’s a Love connection that He offers to anyone who is willing to reach out and receive it. Just give Him a call, and He’ll answer.

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