A wise old man lived at the top of a hill. People went to him with their questions and he always seemed to have an answer. Two young boys thought they would trick him. One of them took a little bird in his hands. He would ask the old man if the bird in his closed hands was dead or alive. If the man said it was dead, the boy would open his hands, If the old man said the bird was alive, the boy planned to squeeze his hands and kill it. Either way, they could prove him wrong. When they reached the top of the hill, they asked the old man if the bird was dead or alive. He responded, “The answer is in your hands.”
There is a lesson in this shrewd reply that many need to hear today. Most everyone says there are a lot of problems. What is causing them? The answer may be nearer than we realize.
Do you feel distracted and stressed? Do you feel so overloaded with information that it is hard to focus? Do you no longer relate to the words, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night” (Psa. 1:2)? Perhaps the reason for these problems is in your hand.
Are you tempted daily with vivid images? Are you battling lust and the guilt it brings? We all know where a lot of this is coming from. Many heartbroken wives have thrown expensive phones away because of the disgusting images they found on them.
Do members of your family fail to communicate with each other? This causes misunderstanding and conflict. Why is this frustration so common? The answer is a phone, a remote, or a keyboard—some kind of screen in the palm of their hand.
Many would rather fire a text or email when they could talk face to face. That takes courage–-something that is vanishing from this culture. People have a hard time working out their disagreements today. Why? The answer is right at their fingertips.
The internet can be used for good or bad. We can control it or it will control us. The choice is ours. It is in our hands.
The solution is not buying endless apps to filter search results, manage information, monitor the time we or our children spend online and remind us of appointments. These can have their use, but ultimately the heart of each person directs the fingers that pick up that phone. What we do comes from the inside. “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23). The hand does what the mind tells it to do.
On the other hand, put the Bible in your hand and keep it there as often as possible. More than that, place it in your heart and renew your mind with it every day (Rom. 12:2). We need Scripture more than we need a screen.