In the days off from work following Christmas many of us can be found reading how-to instruction books for electronic devises, Iím no exception. With all of the electronic devices flooding the market today we parents are challenged to keep up with the icons and jargon of our current (I.T.) information technology driven economy. Indeed we should accept this reality and that our children and grandchildren will not likely escape the use of high tech electronics. There is no going back to simpler tech times, human nature simply will not permit it.
Christmas has always been a time of putting toys together for the kids, and helping them to understand and enjoy them. If I understand the toy first then the possibility exists that my kids will be drawn into it quicker and the toy will be appreciated from the start. Bonding and interacting, for me has always centered on helping my children to learn and be confident in new knowledge and skills. If either side of the father-child relationship is not engaged growth and maturity suffer. All toys, games, tools, and communication devices have an element of shear surprise and fun, but I know to anticipate the associated learning curve frustrations. I certainly let them learn on their own if they so desire; I offer to provide a period of question and answer; and I am there when they have problems. The instruction manual serves well, however, I learn enough to understand the features and the capabilities in order to be enthusiastic as they draw in and begin to achieve a higher proficiency than I do, which is always the goal.
Christmas, however, is not about technology but Ďisí about information, giving and receiving gifts, and proper parenting. Long ago our Father in heaven knew that mankind would come to a prophesied point in our collective development signaling the precise time and place for a required special gift that would bring us up to speed with our relationship with Him. That gift was His Son Jesus, and today as in all previous generations He is here to teach us about the skills and qualities necessary for our spiritual maturity. This maturity is not about devices, the economy or anything high tech. Technology will continue toward achieving ever-higher levels of sophistication but will never achieve the perfection of God. What we learn from the life of Jesus is very low-tech and simple. Our instruction manual is the Bible.
Simple gifts of the Holy Spirit demonstrated by Jesus himself are what we should be learning to use everyday. Just like the learning curve of I-Pods and DVDís, it takes a desire, concentration, and the bonding with a patient and loving teacher, our Father and Creator. If we actively and sincerely seek His help we will become proficient at the skills of love, joy, peace, humility, goodness, patience, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control. This promise is the guarantee that came with the gift and it lasts for all eternity.