Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tools or Toys?

Remember when life was simple?

In Nineteen eighty-seven we moved from New York State to Connecticut and into our first home that came with a mortgage and not just a rental price tag.
After the move we discovered that baby number four was on the way.

My honey insisted that we get a dishwasher.  I never had one before and didn't think I needed one then either.  He disagreed.
I figured he just wanted one because he liked big toys.  He said it was a useful tool.

He also thought we should have a microwave oven, but I refused.  How could we justify such a frivolous purchase?
Boy was he excited when he found a sale for dishwashers that threw in a microwave for free!
Great!  Something else to clutter up my counter!!

Speaking of toys...
Personal computers were finding their way into homes and somehow one made its way into ours too!
Remember Pac-man?  That's what we used it for!  Definitely not a tool!

Fast forward a number of years.
For some time my husband had been telling me that I needed a cell phone.
For heavens sake, what would I do with it?!  He could play with one if he wanted, but I had no interest in one.

I held out until one fateful night...
Having dropped the boys off at a summer camp I was working my way home.  The processing of the boys at the camp had taken considerably longer than I had anticipated and I was going to be arriving home much later than expected.

I proceeded to look for a public phone to let Ray know of my delay and finally found one at a darkened gas station.
It was isolated and I didn't feel comfortable getting out of the car, so I drove on.
After much looking I did find one, but the search for one had made me even later!

When I arrived home I told Ray I was ready for that crazy new phone.  Maybe it would be a useful tool.
He got me one the next day.
The first time that it rang I did not know how to answer it!

All this reminiscing brings me to the present...

Here I sit at my very useful tool, my own laptop, using its keyboard to share my story.
A little while ago I was busy playing Words with Friends and Scrabble with my friends on Facebook.
Okay toy!
Of course I didn't sit down to my computer until I had filled the dishwasher with the dishes that had held the food that I had warmed up in the microwave!  Wonderful tools!

As I work my way from one activity to another, my trusty cell phone is always within reach.
You never know when it will be letting me know of a call or a text, a calendar reminder or alarm.
Definitely a tool!

I was due for an upgrade and took the opportunity to get myself an iPhone.
It is so much fun!   A fun tool?  :)
It fits nicely in my hand and offers so much more than that first computer ever did.
As a matter of fact it offers just about everything that my laptop does!

Do I want to know the weather conditions or predictions?   One touch brings me the information!
So many options!
Surf the net?  Play music?  Have a little face time with my grand-kids?  Take crystal clear photos or videos?

It is hard to remember life without all this stuff.
In so many ways it enhances my life.
I definitely can keep in better communication with my loved ones who are scattered near and far.

Each morning I open the blinds and boot up my computer.
What has happened in the world while I slept?  My computer holds the information.
For all the benefits, now and then I step back and wonder what I have given up for all of this progress?

Information comes from all directions these days.
Many tasks that I do involve my computer, from paying bills and charting expenses, to creating greeting cards, plus sending receiving communications.
The list is endless.
I could spend all day in front of my laptop and all my other conveniences offer me the time to do so.
It takes careful watching to not allow it to own all of your time.

I often join the psalmist in offering Papa this plea...
"Teach me to number my days, so that I might present to You a heart of wisdom."
And I don't need any sophisticated tools to do that, but I am grateful for all of them.
I guess each one serves as both a toy and tool.

For all this I praise my God, who has planted into each of us creativity, which results in so many amazing things!

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