My youngest brother, John, and I were helping my sous-chef dish-washing mom to blow up balloons and decorate a pavilion where our family is gathering for meals during our family reunion this week. We had a couple of tanks of helium and two bags of balloons. My Chief Balloon-blowing husband was working the helium machine, I was handing off filled balloons to my brother and mother, and they were creatively attaching them on curling ribbon. We were working together like a well-oiled party-making machine!
All of the sudden my sous-chef dish-washing mom lets out an “oh no!” and it seems we have run short on curling ribbon. My other brother, Michael, had just left for a trip to store. Without saying a word I picked up my phone and quickly dictated a text to him.
“Hey bro, when you get to Wal-Mart will you get us a roll of string or some curling ribbon to use for the balloons? Thank you!”
Without missing a beat in the workflow, my younger brother said, “why do you do that?”
“What?” I said.
“Text when you can easily call and talk with him,” John replied, still tying balloons.
I stopped and thought about it for a minute. “Well, it’s easy, I can give him a quick message and he doesn’t have to stop what he is doing and answer the phone.” [ side note – I love to text! John texts too – but not always!]
My youngest brother is a great communicator. He has spent his entire adult life teaching and leading young people. He is a natural-born leader and he has inspired many to become leaders over the years. He goes on to say, “So Mike gets the text. He may wonder, does she really want string or does she prefer curling ribbon? If ribbon, does she want a certain color, a fancy silver foil or just something to get the job done? Is there a color theme or anything goes? Will the string be too heavy for the balloons to float up?”
John makes his point. And what if Michael doesn’t see the text until he has left the store and is on his way back, and I don’t end up with anything? I pick up the phone and call my brother. In less than 30 seconds the deal is done.
I have pondered John’s question to me, “why do you do that?” Technology is a wonderful thing and all of us use it in many ways. But, at what cost?
This past weekend I was blessed beyond my wildest imagination to attend a Beth Moore Live conference. At one point she asked the crowd of 7,300 women and a handful of brave men (!) “how many of you have your Bible on your phone, ipad, tablet, or computer?” Hands all over the auditorium shot up. She said, “That is wonderful! Technology has given us the ability to keep the Word of God with us at all times and easily and quickly access it.”
Then she said, “Keep doing that, BUT, don’t give this up.” She held up a large, dog-eared Bible, peppered with yellow sticky notes, and filled with years worth of hand-scrawled notes. Use technology she said. But when spending time in the Word and talking with Jesus, hold your Bible, read your Bible, let the weight of it rest upon your lap. Moving through my Bible I let my notes drift through my memory as I read things I have jotted down through the years. My eyes take in the notes that I know were inspired by the Lord as I read His Word.
When spending time with Jesus I realize sometimes we want to just send up a quick text to him. Just quickly give Him our needs list. No true communication, just a one-way stream of “and I don’t forget this Jesus, I need this Jesus, please send me this, Jesus.”
My brother John has reminded me that communication is vital to any and all relationships. God communicates with us through the Bible, revealing His character and His will and this requires interaction on my part and on His part!
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
We communicate with God through prayer, sharing our thoughts, our needs and our desire to do his will. He communicates with us through His Word, which He writes on our hearts and breaths into our lives.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
“And we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for.” (1 John 5:14-15)
“No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
“And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:20)
Father God, I am so grateful for the influence of others in my life. I am grateful for my brothers and the wealth of knowledge, experience and love they share with me. I am thankful for Your Word and the many ways you have created for us to receive it. My heart overflows with thanksgiving and love. Amen.
Have a blessed day communicating with others!