“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within...”
Romans 12:2


We need this! And we need that!!

The conveniences and comforts of living – especially in the 21st century – so often determine our choices and priorities. Of course, dollars also can be a deciding factor! 

Just recently we had to face a “need”.

After about twenty-five years of faithful service our lawnmower decided to breathe its last. For the time being at least, any overhaul would be a dubious expense considering its age.

We spent some time listening to the “voices” of various salespeople, and manufacturer’s brochures.

We weighed up comparative costs, long and short term, and thought very carefully about models we had owned in the past. The problem with the latter, as is often the case, is that it is almost impossible in the hi-tech age in which we live, to compare apples with apples.

We made our choice.

Then followed the unpacking, fairly minimal assembly, and reading the instruction booklets.

For warranty purposes there were several options available for registering the machine.

We chose to use the telephone.

The operator on the end of the line was well-practiced and efficient. Apart from the serial number, the details required were easily provided. In what was probably a light-hearted comment, the conversation was terminated with the words; “Now you’re in the system!”

I hung up with a polite, “Thank you.” But the words remained and didn’t want to go away.


How easy, and how normal in this day and age. And was I really thankful?

The more I think about the FACT of the statement made by the telephone receptionist, the more sobering and significant are those words.

There are so many ways by which each one of us can be identified and tracked:

Our names and addresses.

Our telephone numbers.

Our cell phones.

A whole range of other “numbers” which have been assigned to us, starting at birth and continuing through life as computers and other technology demand this information and probably refuse to operate without it.

More and more computer networks are inter-connected.

The hackers are increasing their sophisticated skills.

Our privacy and freedoms are diminishing.

Recently we had cause to use the postal track and trace system, to find out what had happened to a parcel which apparently had gone missing. We were supplied with a detailed, almost minute-by-minute account of its journey from NZ to the country, city and street to which it was addressed! It was quite an eye-opener, very impressive and in some ways rather scary. If this could be done to a package, what could, and is, being done to people?!

We are becoming an integral part of SYSTEMS.

Continually, we are all subject to systematisation, and to the extent to which we will allow it to happen, we must exercise CHOICE – provided we still have any.

We can stay IN THE MOULD, or we can come OUT OF THE MOULD(s).

One thing is for sure, it is easy to go IN, but much more difficult to come OUT.

Another story on a similar theme is in “JALP”, chapter 43 entitled “Getting it Right”.

You might chuckle a bit, but ..... ?!