Set you own pace while learning new things

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 30, 2013

My Mom just got an iPhone.

I’ll wait a minute while you let that sink in.

She was in the market for a new phone, and I volunteered to accompany her on the search. When I asked which features, she immediately said, “I want to be able to check the weather. When I’m at baseball games, other people are able to get on their phones to look at the radar and see if it’s going to rain. I want to be able to do that.”

I referred to one phone we were looking at and said, “I’m not sure if this phone has that feature.”

“Oh, well,” she said, “I guess at the next game, I’ll just have to sit by someone who has a phone with radar.”

I called my sister, Kay, for advice. “What kind of phone should Mama get?”

“An iPhone. Most of us have them, so if she has any questions, she can call us.”

“Isn’t that an argument for NOT getting her an iPhone?” I responded. I was only kidding. Really, Mama, it was a joke. Nevertheless I felt guilty for saying that. Add that to the guilt I would experience over my mother searching the stands at the next baseball game to find a friend with radar on their phone and you will understand why we left the store with an iPhone.

Now, my Mom is very smart, second in her class. (Mrs. Vianne St. Martin was first.) It’s not surprising that she has very quickly adapted to this new phone. She also has the wisdom to learn only one new feature at a time. When I thought it was time to teach her how to save notes on her phone, she proudly said, “I already know how to do that.”

“Great!” I said, “Now let’s save your battery.” I double-tapped her Home button and pointed out the multi-tasking bar at the bottom of the screen. “These apps are still open. Press one and they all start jiggling. Press the small red ‘minus’ tab to close down the app so that it no longer drains your battery.”

Oh, if life were that easy. If only I could press different parts of my brain to shut down the thoughts that nag and wait to pounce as soon as I wake up. Mediating and filtering everything through God’s Word always brings peace. The Amplified version of Acts 1:8 reads, “You shall receive power (strategies, solutions and strength) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.”

I’m being very careful about what will occupy my mind and my time. Activities can also act as leeches that have the potential to suck the life out of me. Running full speed for so many years while raising children and working caused me to be able to live at a pace no longer necessary. I’m so grateful for those years and the energy to keep up with those demands, and now I’m learning to slow down and look around. Busyness isn’t always productive; neither does free time mean a barren life.

Teaching my Mom to use her phone is an activity that will remain. At the rate she’s going, she will soon be teaching me.

Ronny may be reached at