There’s An APP for That!

Yesterday, Facebook insisted I use their app on my phone; then Citi card told me to download the app instead of going to the website; and about 10 minutes later I hit Google news to read and 3 new stations wanted me to download their app. I do a lot with Amazon, they want me to use their app, and last but not least my own church keeps telling me to download their app. After that, I’d had enough of apps telling me what to do.

But then, it got me thinking and now musing about how we’ve grown so accustomed to apps and other online systems that do their work for us that perhaps we’ve forgotten to think! Case in point: we were up exploring in Vadita, NM for a camping spot next time we head out in our pop-up. I had this huge map of the Carson National Forest. It took me a minute to realize that since we had no GPS I’d have to figure out roads, map icons, and altitude. My cell phone’s GPS, whom I affectionately (not always) call ‘Bernice’ couldn’t help me, I was now on my own with a giant map in the middle of a 10,000’ high forest. I looked at Al and said, “this should be interesting.”

Apps are fine as they give us a short-cut in finding something, working through a computer problem, etc., BUT it seems we have easily adapted the ‘app shortcut’ for our character as well. We quit thinking on our own because we don’t like the process. Why? —it’s hard work!

In this politically polarized society, where families have been split, conspiracy stories abound, not to mention a deadly virus that has no intention of going away, we seek instant relief, instant solutions, and there is no such thing. Instead, we have to do something that many of us loath—we have to get our “hands dirty” and do the hard work! That is the only way to find the real truth and that’s what we need because a short-cut “cuts off the truth.”

The crucifixion of our dear Jesus reminds us that we also have a daily ‘crucifixion’ (I know—sounds awful) and that is crucifying our flesh which is the opposite of what Jesus asked us to do as his children. We have to adopt the “Olympian attitude” and go the distance—ouch! That IS hard work but Jesus never told us it would be easy, either.

Like the Olympian, we stay in the race even when there are no sort-cuts in life, because in our obedience we will find the real truth and a freedom that NO app can give us! And that is the freedom of living in the grace of Christ, knowing that salvation is ours through Christ, and living for Christ which gives us healing, strength, and the true freedom of living as a child of God.

If there is one important ‘item’ we must “download” it is the JOY of choosing to be all that our Lord has created us to be, no matter the distance, the pain, and the struggles we will encounter on our life’s journey. Sometimes the path is daunting but our God is THE GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE—the God of incredible miracles that loves us so deeply our humanity cannot even begin to fathom it.

As I close my musing on apps, I have to tell you that I did download the 2021 Summer Olympic app! I want to see these incredible young people from my nation and all nations on this globe share their talented lives that took discipline and “staying in the game” no matter the heartbreak and tough times many of them go through in life, let alone at getting to the Olympics.

These athletes can teach me to never give up, to go the distance, and stay in the “game of life” that our God has given us. Then I can say, using the words of the writer of Hebrews 13:5-6 from The Message Bible:

“Since God assured us…
“I’ll never let you down,
never walk off and leave you,”
we can boldly quote,
‘God is there, ready to help;
I’m fearless no matter what.
Who or what can get to me?”