“As silver-haired parents, listening to me now, you remember those long-ago trips as youngsters to the amusement park, the penny arcade, hall of mirrors, and reading comics about Dick Tracy's futuristic wrist radio. And then a few years later the boat trip with our sweetheart through the tunnel of love. As the youth pastor of our church, and not yet in my thirties, I can't consider any of these as memories, as all of you can,” added Pastor Tim.
“But it's crucial that I take just a few more precious minutes of your time to tell you of another tunnel you've been going through, or at least the parents of highschoolers have . Most every day I see these parents with a strong saddening look of bewilderment supported by their almost fearful questions of what they've done wrong, or what had made their teens and preteens so indescribable.”
“Actually, there is a term for their attitudes and actions and I believe we can even draw a circle around their manner of living here this evening, again thanks to your Quilters for Christ event today.” Tim turned to face the marker board behind him. He wrote plainly, the two words, 'Digital Native'. He again faced his silver-haired listeners and began with, “the term probably looks strange, and I'll begin to explain this way. I need a show of hands. How many of you would likely get a correct answer if you asked a teen or preteen what a chalk and slate are used for?” Only one or two hands went up. “OK. Now how many of you in this room know what an iPad is, and a little how it's used?” Again, only three of the many present, raised their hands.”
The reason I ask these two questions is because these two items are largely at the entrance and exit of that tunnel I want to show that you have come through. You've probably used a chalk and slate, along with McGuffey Readers, listening to the wind-up pendulum clock on the wall tic-toc through the long day, learning your multiplication tables. Your attention in later years was intently focused on growing and guarding a family as you began through that tunnel of focused attention.”
“Progressing through that tunnel you struggled with the expanding attitudes of your children toward profanity, promiscuity, meeting the bills and supervising dating events. That tunnel of attention didn't let you see much of the changes from the chalk and slate, to the blackboard and colored chalk. And then the Greenboard, and of all things, the white marker board – but it doesn't stop there. Still in the tunnel, God's gift of technology gave our white marker board a brain. It's called an Interactive Marker Board. It remembers what you wrote on it; both words and pictures. It's computerized.”
“Well coming out of that tunnel vision of the challenged parent, we are startled by all the gadgetry that sort-of snuck up on us while our children were in class, and we were at work, in the home or business place. The first thing Satan does is to lie to us just as he did in God's garden. We hear these strange words like Twitter, tweets, iPods, and there's that iPad thing again. 'Well, what is it?' You ask.
Very simply, an iPad is a chalk and slate that grew up while you were in that tunnel. An iPad is about the same size as a slate, but has batteries, lights, and a computer inside. It has the ability to communicate somewhat like a telephone can, and even talk to other computers. Is it more dangerous than that chalk and slate? Probably about the same difference as your car in the driveway and your Model T at the other end of the tunnel.”
Stop for a moment and really let sink in, the ex-teens and younger have never been in a school classroom where there hasn't been a computer in the corner. Their library is very likely somewhere in their house with a keyboard and mouse hooked to it. There are many more differences between our 'long-ago' end of that time tunnel and it's opening in today's hectic school schedule.
“Now here's 'where-the-tires-meet-the-road', so to speak. You have to answer the following questions in your own heart, without reservation.
Number 1; is Satan more powerful now than the power God gave him on the other end of the tunnel? I'll repeat my question. is Satan more powerful now than the power God gave him on the other end of the tunnel?
Number 2; Does the events of God stopping the sun in Joshua 10 and the backing up of time in 2nd Kings 20, prove He still has control of all that He creates?
Number 3; Does God love your children and mine any less than He did the little boy in a basket in the Egyptian bulrushes? Let's not limit our thinking of what God is able to do.”
“Whether God is using bulrushes, blackboards, batteries, or broken hearts, let's stand ready to love and lead His living breathing gifts to us. There's no going back to the leeks, onions, and non-electronic days and ways. We have the unique responsibility of using our experience and storm-tested scriptures to teach God's unfathomable love by our love and understanding. John 3:16 on a hand-held slate, still begins on every iPad the world over, 'For God so loved the world, he gave...'