From the Palm of Your Hand
Updated: Jun 24, 2022
Hello. It is Thursday, June 23, 2022.
I'm getting a new phone! I am happy about that! I have had my old phone since 2016. Six years!
Now, if this were back in my grandma's day, with the black rotary phone sitting on the side table, that statement would have been no big deal. Grandma had two phones in my entire lifetime! The black rotary phone, where there was always an unsharpened pencil sitting close by for dialing. Her second phone was a new modern phone about 50 years later. What a difference two generations make!
Grandma was content with her two phones. One in the living room and one in the shop. You had a phone for making phone calls, and that was all it was used for. That’s all that was needed.
I think it was Christmas 1998. A family member bought a cell phone for grandma and grandpa. The family member lived out of state and so brought me in on the surprise to help. I bought the phone and wrapped the phone and put it under my tree. At a certain time, when I knew grams would be at my house, the family member rang the number. I can still see grandpa and grandma as they puzzled over what was ringing from inside their gift box.
Grams never used that phone to my knowledge. She was dead set against it. “Why do I need it?” she asked. “In case of emergencies”, I assured her. She put it in her glovebox and that is where it stayed.
New phones come out every year now, maybe every 2 to 3 years if we are lucky. And even if you don’t buy a new phone there are phone updates.
And the cost for a phone? Outrageous! My new phone isn't even an iPhone and the cost, before my discount, was $999.99! After my $600 discount it's still $399.99. I will pay $16.70 a month for 2 years. But that still seems like a crazy amount of money for a phone.
I found this at knowyourmobile.com "Apple, like all businesses, operates on profit margins. It spends money and it makes money; the difference between what it spends (costs) and what it makes is called profits. And Apple’s profits are utterly insane – it made $81.4 billion in revenue during Q1 2021 and a quarterly profit of $21.7 billion.
"And the chief driving force behind its massive quarterly profits, as always, is iPhone – this is Apple’s cash cow and has been for over a decade. Sure, Apple makes money on its wearables, tablets, and computers. But it is nothing compared to what it makes with its iPhone."
My first phone, back in the early 1980's cost less than $20. It hung on the wall in my kitchen, and I was just fine with it. I had no idea what I was missing! I had no clue what was coming.
Back then, who could have imagined that we would soon walk around with a mini computer in our hands. A device we call a phone, and certainly it is because you can call anywhere in the world from anywhere in the world, but it is so much more than that.
Do you remember placing your first call from the beach or some other remote location from your cell phone? I do, and it was marvelous. We were no longer tied to the cord of our phone, which was tethered to the wall. But still we had no idea what was coming.
It was more than a phone. It was a camera! And you could now take thousands of pictures and look at very few of them. But there was much more coming.
You can now search for anything on the internet. Wondering how to spell a word? Ask your phone. Want to do a complex math problem? Pull up your calculator app. Need to set multiple alarms or a kitchen timer? No problem.
Listen to the radio on your phone, watch movies and tv from your phone. Use it as a voice recorder, listen to the weather forecaster, get roadside assistance, make dinner reservations, book a flight, or find out what flights are flying over you, all from your phone.
Scan a document, check your email, translate a foreign language, study the planets and stars, play games, and put puzzles together, all from your phone.
Find a recipe or any number of how-to-videos. Teach and learn, color or draw on your phone. You can shop for everything from dog food to people food, to furniture and lawnmowers, all from your phone.
You can monitor your heart rate, even start your car, with your phone!
You can scan QR Codes, diagnose car troubles, check the batteries on your TV remote. There are apps for a tape measure, level, flashlight and pedometer.
You can track and be tracked from your phone.
You can metal detect with your phone, even use it as a magnifying glass with the right app. Photos and videos, “easy peasy”, all from the comfort of, well, of wherever you are calling from.
I’m sure I have left out something, but the point is, we have become totally dependent on this thing that once upon a time, not that long ago, only allowed you to speak to, and be heard by, someone else. And sadly, our phones have made us a recluse.
We have forgotten how to visit after a meal. We have quit playing board games. We no longer sit around the table making crafts or painting rocks.
We no longer sit without a phone in our hand.
I will never forget the time we were invited over to friends for dinner and the man of the house spent most of our visit on his new cell phone. He was not talking but was using his fingers to manage something that was on the screen. I had no clue then that the new cell phones came with video games and none of us realized what it would do to us or the generations that followed.
We have become like little hermits and most not by choice.
I read an article about someone who made the choice to be a hermit. In 2013, police came across a man in the state of Maine stealing food from a local summer camp at night. It appeared to be a simple case of theft at first. But what was going on was far more unusual. According to reports, Christopher Knight, then 47, had walked into the woods at the age of 19 and never came out. He built himself a makeshift shelter and survived by taking food from nearby homes and camps, just as he was doing on the night he was caught. Knight had hardly spoken to anyone during his entire time in solitude. It’s not clear why Knight dropped out of society, but it happened a year after he graduated from Lawrence high school in Fairfield about 1986… Knight, who has been given a possible diagnosis of Asperger syndrome, a form of autism, said he couldn’t explain why he left society. He told Finkel: “I found a place where I was content.”
What brings contentment to your life? I am guessing it is not any one thing and probably your answer would change over the years. That is certainly true for me.
Paul said it best. The book of Philippians was written as a letter to the church in Philippi. Let’s look at Chapter 4.
Paul wrote, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” 4:12-13 NIV
He knew what it was like to be alive and well on planet earth and he knew the secret to his happiness; his contentment was knowing that he could do what needed to be done because of Christ. Christ is where he got his strength.
Early in the same chapter he wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all…Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 4:4-7 NIV
Paul knew the secret to happiness. He knew true contentment came only from following the Savior; from living the kind of life he wrote about in verse 8.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”