Inviting the Evil In
Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock, and bring me word. Genesis 37:14
A few years ago, my family was on vacation in a city that was new to us. While driving alone one day, my phone’s battery died. I had no car charger and suddenly, I realized I had no way to find my way back to the motel. I was lost. I stopped at a gas station to buy a map, and the guy looked at me as if I’d asked him to water my horse. No maps. Why don’t you just use your phone? The whole experience got me to thinking about how we did anything before our mobile phones. How did we navigate the world? Calling land lines and using paper maps now seems archaic, but at the time, we didn’t know any other way.
I was reminded of that sentiment in reading today’s passage. In the story, Jacob wanted to know how his sons were doing as they were out pasturing the flock near Shechem. Desiring an update, he sent Joseph who walked 40-50 miles to Shechem, only to find no flock and no brothers. He ran into a stranger though, who told him his brothers had moved on to Dothan. So, Joseph walked another 15 miles and eventually found them. Imagine how much work would have been saved if Joseph could have just texted his brothers. With no iPhone though, Joseph had to simply wander the Earth until he ran into his them.
Our phones have brought tremendous convenience into our lives. I remember when we first got smart phones for our kids. We told ourselves how important and easy it would be for us to stay in communication with them. We had no concept though about the baggage that came with that smart phone. We simply didn’t know. TikTok and Instagram weren’t on our radar. We had no concept of the effect social media might have on our kid’s brains.
This blog isn’t a rant against technology. It’s just a reminder to monitor that which I invite into my life. I don’t want to go back to paper maps. I like the convenience of my smart phone. I do, however, need to be careful about what I allow into my brain. Tech companies have shaped the world in such a way that it’s almost impossible to live without a smart phone, but there’s a lot of baggage that has come with that technology. Daily, if I desire to follow God’s will, I must be purposeful about that which I invite into my mind. If a thing distracts me from God’s path, then I must abandon it. With the smart phone, that can be tremendously difficult.