The Wonderful World of Wireless Communication
By Chris Carpenter
CBN.com - As I was driving
through my neighborhood in a rainstorm recently I couldnt help but
notice a shadowy figure lurking ahead of me at the side of the road.
Upon my approach, the windshield wipers thumped and whined rhythmically
to reveal a teenage boy tooling along on a skateboard. To further complicate
matters in my universe of sensible thinking, he was casually talking
to someone on a cellular phone.
As the teenager became but a memory in my rearview mirror I couldnt
help but wonder who he could possibly be talking to in the pronounced
wetness of the day. His parents, a friend, girlfriend, Aunt Sally, who?
Eventually, I developed a sample dialogue in my mind of what he might
"Yo, whats up? Me? Oh, Im just out here riding around on my
skateboard trying to stay dry. Why dont I go home and call you from
an indoor phone? Why would I want to do that when I can talk to you
out here in the rain on my cell phone?"
This sounds pretty foolish doesnt it? However, I have been absolutely
perplexed by the ridiculous episodes involving cell phones I have witnessed
in recent months. Beyond the typical annoyance of hearing one ringing
at the office, in restaurants, during church services, or even in the
bathroom stall at a baseball stadium, I have been privy to some pretty
remarkable tales featuring this brave world of new fangled technology.
My friends and family have accused me of being a technophobe. By outward
appearances this might be true but for the record, I was one of the
first people on my block to own a cellular telephone way back in the
dark ages of 1993. Although it was the size of a lunch box and I had
trouble maintaining a consistent signal due to gentle outdoor breezes
blowing the signal around, it was mine and I loved it.
There was nothing I enjoyed more than being in a public place, deciding
I needed to make a call and then removing my precious cell phone from
its bowling bag sized case. I would punch in the digits with zestful
glee, give my audience a slight wink and a nod acknowledging my ultimate
metropolitan flair, and then look foolish when the call would not go
through. I can still hear that nasally womans voice barking back at
"Were sorry. Your call cannot be completed as dialed. You are
currently out of your coverage area. Please check your roaming agreement
and then try again. Message 8107964."
But a lot of phone transmissions have flown through the air since then.
The technology has certainly improved while the cost has come down exponentially
(I think I paid $500 for my first and only cell phone). Furthermore,
the cellular phone business has made this modern marvel available to
just about anyone. I would venture to say that obtaining one is even
easier than a college student qualifying for a credit card.
Cellular phones have done an admirable job in creating a tremendous
sense of security for weary or distressed road travelers. Just this
morning, I witnessed a woman on an interstate highway dialing for help
in a rainstorm because she had been in a fender bender. Lost hikers
have been able to direct people to their uncharted locations through
the use of a cellular phone. And yes, it is a handy device when you
just cant find a phone booth late at night.
Unfortunately, despite its obvious value to society, the cellular phone
is being used, abused, and trivialized to the dismay of overly sensitive
and cranky people like me. Allow me to illustrate:
On a recent Friday evening I was at my local video store searching
for a movie to rent. Everything seemed normal until I tried walking
down the first aisle of new releases. The problem was I couldnt. Blocking
my path was a series of not one, not two, not three, but four people
standing in a row, shoulder to shoulder talking on their cellular phones.
Whenever I tried to politely pass, one of them would step forward to
pick up a movie in a zombie-like state and begin reading the back cover
into the phone. I considered saying "excuse me" but they were completely
oblivious to my intentions. It was if they were in some sort of trance.
I quickly realized that if I was not in their microcosm world of communication,
i.e. the person on the other end of the phone, I did not exist. I
came very close to grabbing one of the phones, turning it off, and saying
in a sarcastic retort to its owner, "Hey, why dont you surprise
him tonight." Instead, I mumbled a polite "pardon" and
slid through this human obstacle course.
Here is another. While dining in an Atlanta restaurant last year I
couldnt help but notice a young attractive couple sitting in a corner
booth. They were obviously in love as they held hands and stared dreamily
into each others eyes by the flicker of candlelight. Music lilted in
the background as waiters scurried to and fro. It was a scene straight
out of Hollywood except for one rather large exception. They were each
talking on cellular phones to different people! At first I thought they
might be doctors each responding to an emergency call. That notion was
soon thwarted as their individual conversations lingered for the better
part of 20 minutes. I couldnt help but ask myself, What is wrong with
this picture? Romantic restaurant, two people in love talking to different
people on cell phones. Ah yes, how silly of me. Their water glasses
were not filled. Not.
Finally, I was talking with a friend of mine over lunch last week when
he posed this mind-bending question.
"Do you think it would be alright to get "Susan" her
own cell phone?"
"Other than the fact she is nine years old, I dont see any problem
with it," I sarcastically replied.
"Well, I realize she is young but she really wants one. I think
the people who manufacture Barbie dolls have one on the market for her
I stared at him incredulously for what seemed an eternity. As I thought
through what my response would be, visions of civilization crumbling
into the depths of despair flashed before my eyes. I remembered my boss
telling me that when he met President Bush last year, the Commander
in Chief absolutely abhorred cellular phones and refused to allow them
in his presence. Yet here I was munching nacho chips in a Mexican restaurant
listening to why a nine-year-old should be equipped with her own cellular
phone. It just didnt add up. The President does not carry one yet a
nine-year-old does. I finally responded.
"Not this year. Maybe next."
I could ramble and on about my difficult encounters with cellular phone
users but I must stop and realize that I am judging these people with
a critical spirit. As a Christian, it is my duty to not focus on peoples
shortcomings but to see them as individuals that God loves. This is
an area that I think many people, including myself, battle with on a
daily basis. We see so much moral irresponsibility in our daily walk
that we want to try and solve the worlds problems by our own accord.
But as I am reminded so frequently, it is not about me, it is about
In Philippians 4:8 the Apostle Paul writes, "Finally, brothers,
whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is
pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent
or praiseworthy think about such things."
In this passage we find that Paul understood the power and influence
of ones thoughts on a persons life. The thoughts that we sometimes
allow to penetrate our minds will often dictate how we react to various
situations. It is very clear in this verse that Paul is encouraging
us to "practice what we preach."
Through a dedicated effort to apply this scripture verse into our very
human way of thinking, it is hoped we will create a pattern of consistency
in how we approach issues that are burdensome and troubling to us. As
Christians, it is our moral obligation to live lives of personal integrity
(there is that word again). To do so will result in a stronger sense
of spiritual excellence in our lives.
So, rather than complaining about people, why dont we pray for them
me what you think
Information from The Transformer, study Bible used
in this article.
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