A Cowboy’s Faith: Hand gadgets take over childcare

buchmanhead“Cell phones are a babysitter for the 3-year-olds at church.”

Actually, cells phones today seem to be “sitters” for all ages.

It was a company staff meeting with 40 in the room as an executive presentation was being made, and nearly all present, except us, had their cell phones in use a portion, if not a majority, of the time.

Then, last night at our banquet table, a friend 15 years our elder kept showing pictures on his cell phone from a horse sale he’d attended several weeks earlier.

Every day as we commute to work, literally dozens of other drivers are deep in conversation with cell phones plugged to their ears.

Now, it’s an old subject, but our old-fashioned upbringing doesn’t seem to be able to completely comprehend how these little gadgets have become such a key part of society.

Back to the girl in the church pew in front of us, she had her grandma’s cell phone and was pacified for the full hour rubbing her fingers across it playing games, watching cartoons, and doing whatever else the piece did that we don’t understand.

As complained about previously, we have a cell phone, too, and so very sadly depend on it for communications within our profession. Yet, to its credit, the hand piece has helped us out of several jams when transportation efforts failed.

Still, we don’t understand this “new one” we were “forced to get” several months ago, when the first one we were “forced” to get” nearly four years earlier went caput, and they “don’t make batteries for it anymore.” Cell phones are easy for a preschooler to operate, but still difficult, or impossible, for an old cowboy.

Therefore, while we attempt to use our cell phone for its meant purpose, others use theirs for texting, e-mail, photographing, taping, listening to the radio, news, weather alerts, listening to music, watching movies, babysitter in church, and more we don’t even want to think about.

We still prefer communicating face-to-face and can’t help but wonder whatever happened to crayons and Cheerios to keep children busy during long sermons.

Reminds us of Second Thessalonians 2:15: “Personal conversation puts fresh heart in you and invigorates your work.”  Likewise, Genesis 33:15: “You know that the children are tender and require delicate care and need gentle words.”


Frank_BuchmanFrank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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