I wonder when we turned the corner? Telephonically speaking, I mean.
Once upon a time having a cell phone was a very cool thing, a “status symbol” even. (Hey, I remember when having a telephone with push buttons and not a rotary dial was cool.)
The first cell phone I ever spied looked like spy Maxwell Smart’s shoe phone. Remember him? Ahead of his time, he was the klutzy TV series “secret agent” (Get Smart was the series, even though it helped us get smarter not at all) who’d take off his shoe, stick it up to his ear, and make a phone call.
The obviously “high maintenance” gal I saw years ago parading through a hospital waiting room didn’t look like Maxwell Smart. She looked like somebody well worth avoiding, but she did have a big beige plastic thing, something on the order of a man’s Size 11 shoe, stuck up to her face. She was talking into it and seemed keen on everyone noticing, which I guess we did.
Many moons have passed since then. Now even the most intelligent yard dogs and the most not-so-smart humans (not just Maxwell Smart), either have a cell phone or a cell phone has them. That’s why it’s been years since you’ve had a simple meal when everyone at the table was fully present and not focused on a phone. Most folks don’t mean to be impolite; the young ones have never seen anyone actually try to eat without a phone.
It might not make the list of time-honored spiritual disciplines, but on the modern list should be this grueling exercise: consider going to a meal occasionally and leaving your phone switched off or in the car.
Unless you’re a brain surgeon or hooked up to NORAD and the president and the Pentagon require your immediate concurrence should they want to launch nuclear missiles, most folks will find that the world will keep on spinning for an hour or so even if they’re un-tethered from their phone. Bad news will be just as bad an hour later and good news will be an even nicer surprise.
But I warn you: the first time or two you try it, you may feel a little shortness of breath, some tightness in your chest, and perhaps a little free-floating anxiety. Counseling and medication are available should such symptoms continue or worsen. Others (very few, but some) have chosen to travel this one-hour “phone-fast” road before; you’re not alone.
Yep, we’ve turned a corner. The time was when having a cell phone was a status symbol. Now I’m told the real status symbol is NOT having a cell phone. It’s having “people” whose cell phones have them. They make and take the calls you never have to. Hmm.
Some days I’d like to give my phone to the dog, as long as she’d promise to give it back when the grandkids are calling.
I wonder how our Creator does it? He stays on the line all the time, always awaiting our call. Whenever we want to talk about anything at all, he considers that very good news.
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Copyright 2015 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.