Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Click (04/18/13)
TITLE: The Easy Button
By Ann Menschel
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We've seen the commercial - just click the "easy button" and all our office supply needs will miraculously appear at our desks. While life hasn't become that easy, it is amazing what the click of a button on a remote control will do. One click allows us to change the T.V. station, record a program, or adjust the volume. When the room is too hot, a click will turn on the ceiling fan or adjust the air conditioner. Turn a lamp on or off, open the garage door and heat up leftovers all at the touch of a button.
Log on to a computer and with a click or two more information than we could ever use is at our fingertips. Social media allows us to surf through our friends' pages learning details from their lives. We can post pictures of our children and life activities for the world to peruse and enjoy endless shopping sprees from the comfort of our homes. Phones no longer hang on walls or sit on tables. We carry them everywhere we go. Though they seldom ring with an actual call, we easily send countless text messages to one another. We even have "smart" phones giving us portable access to all those things we used to only do on computers.
However, the side effects of "easy" are numerous, with unpleasant consequences. They affect our society physically, emotionally and spiritually. Families and friendships are weakened. Individuals fail to live up to their potential. All because we want life to be too easy. As followers of Jesus Christ, we need to live our lives differently. In Matthew 16:24, Jesus said that if anyone wanted to be His follower, they needed to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him. Practically speaking, what might our lives look like if we took a hammer to the "easy button" and followed Christ?
Physically, easy buttons are fostering inactivity. Many of us are watching others "do" while sitting on our couch, seldom taking part in an activity ourselves. We are often overweight, physically out of shape, and lacking in stamina. It's time to switch off the television, put on our sneakers and toss the football in the back yard.
We are a society that lives vicariously through watching countless dramas, sit-coms, reality shows and how-to programs. Let's experience the enriching variety of life personally. We can use the computer to find a recipe for raspberry soufflé - but then why not go to our kitchen and actually make it. Stretching ourselves with new activities helps ward off apathy and depression. It provides encouragement to step outside our comfort zone in physical activities and in building relationships.
Within our neighborhoods, work places and even our homes we encounter challenging inter-personal relationships. If we turn off the gadgets, we can interact with the struggling mother of four next door by fixing a meal, babysitting the kids, or just chatting by the backyard fence. Children of single parents need "big brothers or sisters" to help with homework, teach them to throw a baseball and show them they are loved and worthwhile. Many senior citizens live far from family and need someone to run errands, make minor home repairs or just sit and visit.
As individuals, we need intimate contact with others. Texting, emailing and social media is not enough. We should pick up the phone, dial a number, and actually speak to one another. We can invite others into our homes for conversation, a meal or an evening of playing games. We need to quit worrying about saving time or wasting someone else's. Relationships are how we show God's love to others.
Stepping away from the easy button means changing our lifestyle by putting others first. We will experience God's power to do this as we study the Bible, talk to Him and listen for His answers. It's not easy. It's not quick. But it is provides a great rewards program!
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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