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My very smart phone

Better I should focus on getting to know the source of all true intelligence, the One who knit me together in my mother’s womb. He knew all the days ordained for me before one of them came to pass, anticipates my thoughts ahead of me, knows my deeds before I carry them out, and understands my motivations for each one. No cell tower or satellite required.

My very smart phone

On Sunday morning I climbed into the car and turned my cell phone’s ringer off. To my surprise a message on the screen told me exactly how many minutes the drive to church would take and suggested, “Take Highway 6. Traffic is light.” I had not told the phone my intended destination, nor asked for a road report. But it anticipated my habit of attending worship each week and offered advice about the best route. Imagine that!

Not long ago I only had a flip-phone, which I kept buried in the bottom of my handbag for emergencies and the occasional text. Often I had no idea where my phone was. Usually the battery drained from non-use, which frequently annoyed Jack when he tried to call me. When the phone finally died, I hesitated to upgrade to a smart phone. Ultimately, the lure of technology drew me in.

Soon I was texting, emailing, taking photos, loading apps, checking sale prices, getting directions and constantly verifying all manner of information. I can use it to keep in touch with family and friends, get the weather forecast, check who’s on the yard, see the chickens in the barn and monitor and adjust their climate conditions from any remote location, wherever cellular service is available.

No longer do I relegate my phone to the depths of my purse. Leaving home without it is unthinkable. I know its location at all times. Little did I realize that it also knows exactly where I am – a sobering thought, really.

True intelligence
Intelligence used to be measured by the amount of accurate information a person had stored in his/her brain. Thanks to the digital miracle, I can access vital information on an encyclopaedic spectrum anywhere, anytime. Who was the Soviet president in the 1970s? When did Lorne Greene die? What are the lyrics to Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress? How much is a bushel of soybeans worth today? Go ahead. Ask me.

But artificial intelligence has limitations – it relies solely on whatever data has been entered. It has no conscience, no morals or values, no ethical basis for making decisions, no imagination, creativity, emotions or personality. It was not created in the image of its maker, and it is not accountable for its actions – not even when it sends me the wrong way down a one way street.

At best it’s a wonderful tool in my daily life. At worst it’s an addiction, a hindrance to genuine social interaction and a potentially harmful (even deadly) distraction. Like all good things, the possibility for misuse in human hands looms large.

Better I should focus on getting to know the source of all true intelligence, the One who knit me together in my mother’s womb. He knew all the days ordained for me before one of them came to pass, anticipates my thoughts ahead of me, knows my deeds before I carry them out, and understands my motivations for each one. No cell tower or satellite required.

There is nowhere in the entire universe that I can hide from him. His loving eyes are always watching me. And the best part is – in that whole universe – from the heights of heaven to the depths of the ocean and way beyond outer space – there is absolutely nothing that could ever separate me from his love in Christ Jesus.

I always know where he is: right here – before me, behind me, beside me and within me. His message is constant – Take the Narrow Road. Traffic is light. I’ll be with you every step of the way. He knew before time began that I would desperately need a Saviour only he could provide, and yet he chose to create, nurture and redeem me anyway.

Now – imagine that! 

About the Author
My very smart phone

Heidi VanderSlikke, Columnist

Heidi grew up in the Niagara Peninsula with dreams of becoming a writer. But she took a paying job instead. Working as a bookkeeper led to studies in accounting and credit management, all of which proved to be very practical when she married Jack—her Prince Farming—in 1978. They have lived happily ever after (most of the time) on their farm in Mapleton Township, Ontario. They have three grown children and (so far) one incredibly cute grandson. For the last 10 years Heidi has been a columnist for Christian Courier, as well as having written short stories, devotionals and articles for other publications. She is a professional member of The Word Guild. She enjoys the outdoors, animals, photography, reading and motorcycles. She and Jack have ridden to Canada’s east coast and through various parts of the US, including the Florida Everglades. They hope to one day take their bikes across Canada to British Columbia. In the meantime, she continues to write about what she loves best—faith, family and farm life.