For some years now, I have been interested in technology. This is not a surprise to those who know me. Part of it, I'm sure, is just a fascination with new and shiny tech gadgets. It's something that I like and something that I enjoy. But I've always tried to make it more than just a hobby. I have always tried to evaluate each technology for its usefulness in the things that are really important to me. And then I've tried to make the best of use of the technology for those things.
The past several weeks have opened new doors for me in this. After waiting for months, on August 1st I received my iPhone. I could write about how close I came to getting one on the first day, or how the phone arrived just after I left for Minnesota, or how complicated and convoluted AT&T makes the whole process. Or I could write about how much I love the phone, how well it works for me, or all the fancy and fun features.
But let me just tell you about today. Today I visited one of my shut-ins for the first time. I had never been to her house and she lives on the west side of El Paso. So I simply pulled up her contact info on my phone, tapped on her address and instantly had directions to her house. On the way there, I stopped at Target to pick up something for my wife. The item on the store shelf was not what I was supposed to get, so I used the camera's phone to snap a picture to email it home, called home and had Sara see for herself. Once I arrived at the house, I visited with the member. When I was telling her about my family, I was able to flip through some pictures of the kids on the iPhone's screen. On the way back around the mountain, I plugged in the iPhone to the car stereo and listened to an episode of Issues, etc and the WELSTech podcast. When I'm in the car, I use a bluetooth headset for phone calls. If a call comes in, the music pauses and I can take the call with a click. Today I spoke with a classmate on the way home later in the day. This evening I drove up to Chaparral, NM, for another shut-in call. I make most of these appointments while I'm in front of my computer at church. But all of the contact details and calendar events automatically sync with the iPhone. So when I'm out and about, it's all with me. On the way home from this evening's visit I gave my Mom a call and we chatted about the day.
My point is that this phone has already proven to be an extremely valuable tool for me. Like I said before, my goal is to use the technology for the things that are important. Visiting the sheep is important for a shepherd. The phone numbers and address of the sheep is a nice thing to have at my fingertips, as well as my plans to tend to them (calendar). It is true that many other devices also perform many of the same functions as the iPhone. Here, again, I could mention things about simplicity, design, user-friendliness and reliability. But the point really is that it is a tool that helps me to do the job of serving these people with the gospel. I think it's a good tool. I'm thankful for it.