One of the regular questions in our home is “What time is it?” Often addressed to the smart home device by name and a swift response is expected. It makes life a little easier than having to be the speaking watch. Can you imagine though having to say “Hang on a moment whilst I slip out to look at the sundial” and then discovering it’s nighttime and the sundial doesn’t work by moonlight. Even of there was such a thing as a portable sundial which you could wear on your wrist you’d also need a built in compass to make sure you were facing the correct direction.
We have become a people of convenience – many people will remember the outside toilet located either at the bottom of the yard or garden. Maybe using an old “dolly tub”, squeezing the water out of the washing by passing it through a mangle. I’m sure some will be old enough to remember the old “gazunda” and maybe even when visiting older relatives carrying a candle to light yourself to bed! Today we enjoy automatic washing machines, tumble dryers, and many other devices powered by electricity. We certainly appreciate being able to use a modern flush toilet in the warmth of the home.
21st Century people want everything the easy way and I am certain anything that makes life simpler becomes the latest “must have”. Simple things like an electronic P.A. (Personal Assistant) that will do all those things that a modern busy individual needs to live and lead a productive life. In the past you would need a paper pocket diary, a pen or pencil, a watch, access to a dictionary, a calculator, a telephone and doubtless countless other devices just to do the same job.
How does all of this extend to matters of faith though? How easy do we want faith matters and belief to become? True many modern day Christians carry an electronic version of the Bible alongside an accompanying commentary – makes it easier somehow. Yet what we believe and how we build up our faith is not ever going to be easy. We face difficult questions which can take some time to work our way through, often finding as we answer one question other questions raise their heads. I have found myself saying over the years “If you want an easy life don’t become a Christian!” Yet, having said that, the challenges of faith can bring with it great satisfaction and a knowledge of getting to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour at just the right moment of time.
John Pugh (Rev) Wymeswold Methodist