COLUMN: Phones: We are constantly updating

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By Jon Rohr

Everybody reading this has had phones around their entire life. But think how much phones have changed recently. The telephone was invented in 1876 and in 1891 the first dial telephones were invented. That basic phone stayed the same for the next 74 years until 1963 when Bell Systems invented the “touch tone” phone, which was still pretty easy. My grandparents’ whole life they had simple and stress free telephones.
The next step was the cordless home phone, and then came the cell phone. Did you know that the earliest mobile “car” phones began service in 1946? The cell phone as we know it didn’t become pocket sized until 1989. Since then look at what has happened. Now most of us carry a phone around with us all the time.
Even an inexpensive phone has a memory to store numbers, a speed dial feature, can take and store photos and most have some sort of voice mail and text messaging.
Then there are the smart phones. Surf the Internet, watch a movie, read a book or play a game all on a little handheld device we still call a phone. Is it any wonder we are more stressed out? We are constantly connected and constantly updating. I remember as a kid learning a few phone numbers, now I barely know my own. If I can’t find my phone, I have lost not only my phonebook, but my daily calendar as well.
People talk about stress, and they are right, things are more stressful. Our phones, once a simple means of communication have become complex computer systems that update every year or two. My grandparents learned one phone system and used it their whole lives. We seem to update every few years and each time we have a new learning curve.
The world has always changed around us and people always struggle to cope. But in the midst of all the changes and upheaval, there is still a rock on which to stand, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 NIV). We may see the message on TV now, or perhaps on your smart-phone, but he and the message are the same. We can trust him even in changing time. He is “the Rock of our salvation” (Psalm 95:1 NIV).
In this rapidly changing world, what was new yesterday will be outdated tomorrow, but Jesus is never outdated. His message of grace and forgiveness is as new and fresh today as it was 2,000 years ago. He still calls us to place our faith in him, to trust him, to rest in him. And more good news, you don’t need a cell phone to call him. He’s listening even now for a heart that turns to him.