We had a power shortage today for several hours, and it reminded me of how dependent we are on electricity. The house was dark, and every time I went to do something, I realized there were no lights and I could not see. Finally, I turned off the flashlight and just sat down in my recliner and tried to relax.

Within minutes, I was browsing on my phone while considering what in the world would we do if we lost the entire power grid? Some are prepared, but for many, this would be a serious problem. The dangers of an electromagnetic pulse are real, whether natural or man-made, and I certainly hope and pray that we never experience such a terrible disaster. It's hard to fathom our lives without electricity.

Typically in the old days, when the evening came, darkness was definitely a factor that hindered people from doing a lot of things except maybe to read, sew or write by a candle or an oil lamp. When electricity was invented, people could then work around the clock, and the rest is history.

Can you imagine how difficult it was without electronic devices? For example, we seldom think of conveniences such as hot water at the turn of a faucet. Back then, the only way you could enjoy hot water was to start a fire under a large pot and wait for the water to warm up. This was done when the laundry and dishes piled up and of course when a person wanted to take a bath. The water was usually carried from a well in buckets, and a continuous supply of wood was needed to keep fires going in the cooking stove and the hearths. Just cooking the dinner and washing the dishes alone was a major ordeal, and then there was ironing, cleaning and sewing, which the wife did in her spare time after milking the cow and bathing the children. No wonder they were exhausted as they hit the floor each morning at 4 or 5 o'clock to start the fires and cook breakfast, with again only candles or oil lamps for light. Utilizing natural light is why they worked hard throughout the day before the sun started to set. On a positive note, it provided a quiet environment to communicate and think about what was really important.

Electric power makes our lives so much easier, and all this extra time has given us more time to relax. With less work to devote to surviving, we can now take a quick shower, have dinner brought to us and sit around the rest of the night watching television, playing on the internet or whatever we want. As I previously mentioned, in the old days there was always an endless list of work that needed to be done because your life depended on it, but today we have so much more leisure time, we hardly know what to do with it.

Advancing technology is wonderful in many ways and can give us more opportunities to promote the gospel and help encourage others, but if we are not sensitive to this subtle pretense it can enable us to be lazier.

Many consider the television as a deceptive device that distracts us from important responsibilities, and now the cellphone has become even more addicting. This may be true, however, it's not fair to blame artificial intelligence or anything else for absorbing our time and attention, as every electronic device has an off button.

Sadly, there are a group of people who have a secret desire to avoid reality and experience an uneasy and uncomfortable haunting within their conscience when left in a quiet place alone with God. Could this be conviction from the Holy Spirit as the mind and soul reacts to feelings of guilt and the need to repent?

Since God has a plan for our lives and wants to lead and guide us every minute of the day, I believe we can agree that how we spend our time is important to him. Do you believe we will be judged for how much time we spent ignoring our spiritual accountability? Today is a brand new day of blessings, and it also brings many choices and opportunities for us to consider.

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Billy Holland

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