Some of you reading this were born into the age of computers, cell phones, and smart tv. Others, like myself, remember the day when white liquid paper was a marvel for correcting typing errors. Then came the removable silver font balls for (gasp!) an electric typewriter! I remember getting such a typewriter. I thought that nothing could top that apparatus of typing wonder — until the fax machine arrived on the scene!
Of course, if you lived during the birth of the electric typewriter, then you probably remember rabbit ears for the television set. Did you ever attach big squares of aluminum foil to the antennae for better reception? Those were the days when one actually had to get up and go to the television set to change the channel!
Television interference was not uncommon; I remember, especially if there was a sewing machine buzzing away in another part of the house. When my mother would get out the sewing machine, wide lines of gray snowlike images would snake across the screen, blurring both the image and sound. At times I would ask my mother if she could wait until a particular tv show was finished; important shows, like Gilligan’s Island, The Brady Bunch, and The Partridge Family. I was always most patient when she sewed during the news.
My mother was doing good things sewing. She made the most beautiful dresses. I still have my prom dress she made me. It was shiny gold with pearls that she hand stitched around the neck. Strangely I no longer fit into it. How it shrunk while packed away is a mystery.
Those memories of childhood days with black and white tv and sewing machine interference brought to my attention today’s interferences. Life is filled with many good things that make our days much easier. At a click of a button we can change tv channels, send a message or photo instantly, or speak to someone on the other side of the world. Technology has made our work and pleasure so much better. Even so, like days of old, interference can unwittingly take our attention off what is truly important.
Doing good things can steal away our priorities. We may feel guilty at first when we push time spent with God or family to the bottom of our to-do list but we excuse it because we’re doing “good things.” We’re working hard to be the best we can be and technology is helping us achieve that goal. God time or family time gets neglected but the outcome is for the good, right?
Time is a funny thing. It can give to us and it can take away. What we easily forget is that we can be the master of time rather than time ruling over us. That is why we are reminded in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and time to dance. A time to scatter stones and time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and time for peace.”
You and I have difficulty prioritizing our time. There are so many temptations even doing good things. That’s exactly why we so need our God-time. When we take that time to spend with Him in His presence, the things of our world slip into right order. When our world is ordered as God designs, there is peace in the midst of chaos and direction in the midst of all that can distract us.