That’s what these are, just musings, just some thoughts, along my life’s journey.
So, yes, I finally got an iPhone. I can’t say I really wanted one when they were being hyped in the media or when I saw people standing in long lines to buy one, but when iPhone owners began to show me all they could “do” with their apps, then I began to at least wonder if I shouldn’t get one. I mostly embrace technology, especially when it enables me to stretch beyond what I know, when it feeds me information and provides me with quick answers to all my “how” and “why” questions.
The actual moment of buying one came when my husband said he thought he needed one. When it comes to technology we are opposites, so this announcement was a total surprise. Why would he want such a technological marvel? It was the technology that made it appealing to him. It was the technology that made it easier for him to use his contact list. It was the technology that made all the options easier to understand. than his old phone. It was the technology that made navigating the phone as easy as touching a screen. So we both got iPhones.
After two weeks of ownership, I’m faced with a spiritual problem. There are so many things to look at, to read about, to laugh at, to play with that I find myself having to say “no” to picking up a cell phone! And not because it’s ringing. It’s the soft chime telling me someone has answered my challenge on Word With Friends. It’s the desire to check out what kind of bird I just saw in the backyard by keying in a description on the Bird app. It’s needing to know the word of the day from the Dictionary app. As can happen with almost anything in our fallen sinful world, the iPhone had become a passionate distraction, drawing me away from a myriad of household, family and personal duties.
So, some self-control is definitely in order. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:27, “I discipline my body and keep it under control.” In doing so, he’s seeking to glorify God. Now that’s a passion I can live with!
In my Bible study class I’m teaching through the Gospel of John. It’s different from the other gospels for several reasons, but one of the main ones is that John wrote it after the other three chronological accounts (Matthew, Mark and Luke), and he structured his account with the knowledge that most readers would already know many of the events surrounding Jesus’ life, so he could concentrate on highlighting certain supernatural acts that Jesus did which served as signposts to lead the reader to “believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you might have life in his name.” John 20:31. This, by the way, is the reason John said he wrote his gospel.
These signposts or “signs” are pretty obvious in the gospel, especially after John deliberately labels the first two of them, calling them “the first of his miraculous signs” and then the “second miraculous sign.” The pattern the reader discerns in the first two of the signs serves as a template for the rest of the gospel. By the time Jesus arrives in Jerusalem for the week leading up to His crucifixion, there remains only one directional pointer to His being God’s Son–His resurrection.
However, all but a few people completely missed these signs. The disciples themselves saw them through a haze. God was displaying His power, His beauty, His wisdom, His grace, His love and His truth, but they failed to see it. Oh, they saw the gifts of bread or wine or healing, but they didn’t see beyond the gifts to the Giver. Just think how it must have pleased Jesus if someone had praised Him more for being Him than for His gifts, if they were more content with Jesus Himself than with anything He could give them.
Signs from God confront us daily. God displays Himself to us every day with His gifts. May we not fail to recognize these signs of Him and glorify Him for who He is more than for what He gives.
C. S. Lewis wrote in Reflections on the Psalms, “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment.” How true for us as we worship and share our joy of worship with others. Someone recently related on Facebook how much they had enjoyed a certain church worship experience, praising the sense of His presence in the service. I had attended that worship service and their praise made me rejoice in Him, completing my enjoyment of the experience. Delighting in Him is why He made us. Sharing that delight completes our enjoyment of Him.