Wednesday, July 20, 2011
I am somewhat embarrassed to say this, but my wife has a name for my BlackBerry. You know, that thing we grownups wear like a toy gun and holster on our belts? That thing that buzzes my hip like a little friendly bumble bee, waiting impatiently for me to pay attention?
Yes, that’s what she’s calls my BlackBerry, My Precious. Like Gollum. But I won’t bite off Frodo’s finger for it, that’s for sure. Well, I don’t think I would.
So what is it about Blackberrys and other smart phones that will make us ignore our kids and spouses, ignore where we’re driving on the highway, and turn our attention away from the most compelling news on the television set? What is it that so mesmerizes us?
Standing in the lunch line in our company cafeteria this week, I looked up from my BlackBerry to see that eight other people in line with me – all eight – were doing exactly the same thing as I was.
And then there was the time I interviewed a job candidate whose BlackBerry buzzed, he looked at the name of the sender, and apologized for having to take the call – from another possible employer. That ended the interview on the spot.
We all have our reasons and our excuses, but the real answer is that that little piece of computerized, connected equipment is all about us. The Great Sin.
C.S. Lewis doesn’t shy away from the hard subjects. So far in our discussion so far of Mere Christianity, we’ve seen him tackle everything from morality, belief and tolerance to sexuality, marriage and behavior, among others.
In this chapter, it’s The Great Sin.
It’s the one we’re all guilty of. The one we know intimately. The one that – for Christians – is indeed The Big One. The one that gets in the way of everything.
Pride, or self-conceit.
And it’s not an exclusively American sin. No, this one transcends cultures. If you want proof, the personal, portable phone can be found in every country around the world. Some countries are even worse than the United States.
I never expected to be thinking of my BlackBerry as The Great Sin.
But I think that’s what it is.
Our discussion of Mere Christianity is being hosted by Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter. To see more posts on this chapter, "The Great Sin," please visit Jason's site, Connecting to Impact.
Photograph: Woman Texting by Petr Kratochvil via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.