There is nothing like two kids sitting at the lunch table, unpacking their lunch boxes and turning their noses up at what they find. Glancing over at their friend’s lunch, they say at the same time – “Wanna trade?” Life is full of trade-offs, isn’t it? Some are good and some are bad, but we usually end up with the consequences of what we trade.
In a lot of ways, we have traded technology for ignorance. Back in the day, you had to go to the library and look up what you wanted to know in an encyclopedia. Children today don’t even know what an encyclopedia is – they “google” everything. Our phones are our note pads and pens, our calendars, our phone books, our calculators, and our cameras. Very rarely do we “sit still” any more because we’re always scrolling through social media posts or playing a game on our phones. But what have we traded for this convenience? Have you noticed families sitting in restaurants and Mom and Dad have their faces glued to their phones? How do you imagine their children feel? Have we traded the ability to make and to hold meaningful conversations around the dinner table for supper in front of the TV or on our phones?
We now have extremely comfortable homes. We have air conditioners and heating. We have comfy recliners and beds. We have access to hundreds of channels on TV, and in fact, many of us can even work from home now. We’ve built fences for privacy and many houses don’t have front porches any more. We pull in and out of closed garages, never even getting the chance to wave at our neighbors. What have we traded away?
We often relish our independence. No, we don’t need help – “It’s fine!” But, what if it’s not? I never understand why people don’t want anyone to know when something happens. How can we pray for situations when we don’t know anything about them? Me – if something happens to me or mine – I want God to get so tired of hearing my name! You know what I mean? The “effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). Are we trading off pride in exchange for the power of prayer?
People tend to always want what they don’t have. When the children are young, couples long for peace and quiet. But when the children are grown, you long for the sound of their voices and anticipate with relish every second that you’re with them.
One trade-off that we will all make is this world for the next. We were not put on this earth to stay, but what we do with the few years that God has granted us here will determine where we’ll spend the hereafter. Jesus has promised that “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2-3). I hope your mansion is next to mine! Simply blessed, Courtney