LIVING IN A WORLD THAT SPEAKS IN THUMBS
By Akin Ojumu
Subtly – but surely – time takes its toll on all of us and we all age before our eyes. Like the small hand of the clock, we know it is happening, but cannot see it happening.
With age comes change. As one day morphs into the next day, and the baton of life is passed from year to year, it is amazing how much change each transition brings. The hairlines recede, the waistlines bulge spilling over the waistband, and the eyes squint real hard needing prescription glasses in order to see.
As we change so does the world around us. There is a constant metamorphosis of language, the continuous evolution of knowledge, and the rapid advancement in technology. The world we live in increasingly gets more complex and complicated. And successive generation of mankind find their world light years ahead of the world in which their parents lived.
Persistently, the world, through science and philosophy, seeks solutions to the challenges of the natural habitat. Through science, man is able to develop the tools with which nature is subdued, and the landscape of human existence is transformed. More than ever before, our society relies on philosophical rumination and scientific illumination to provide the evidence that explains the phenomenon of being. We turn to science to explain supernatural events, and with philosophy we create rules for civil engagements.
The human mind – that mystery beyond comprehension, the puzzle that is impossible to solve – is not at all immune to change. On the contrary the mind is the foundation of all the changes that we see. The mind is the seat of change, and it is from the inward part that all changes begin.
“The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out…” Jeremiah 17:9 (The Message).
Our thoughts and thought processes have become more sophisticated and refined. In a post-modern world, the goal post of what is considered “normal” continually shifts and turns each and every day. The ancient boundary of acceptable norm, set by generations before us, is in a perpetual state of evolution. The days of absolutes are long gone, replaced by a dispensation of relativism. Once accepted truths have been jettisoned and the erstwhile benchmark of human relationships have long been abandoned. The world, instead, embraces facts based on scientific evidence and philosophical underpinnings. An altar has been raised for sacrifices to be brought before the gods of theories and logic. Scientists receive laurels for their great inventions, the philosophers are crowned for their wisdom, and they are both worshiped as demigods among mere men.
To be fair, science has done a lot of good for this world. We are all witnesses to the impact of scientific breakthroughs and technological advancements on our society. The world is a better, cleaner and healthier place today than it was just a few years ago. Life expectancy has more than doubled for most people, as a result of better health and healthier lifestyle. Science has found answers for many diseases. To a large extent the natural elements have been tamed – well, except in the perpetually underdeveloped nations of Africa. Science helps introduce efficient and effective processes and procedures to every area of human endeavor. The efficient and effective processes enable us all to live more productive lives.
The world has come a long way from striking stone against stone in order to produce fire. Horses and bogeys, as the sole and fastest means of transportation, have given way to fast cars, high speed trains, and supersonic jets. We no longer use birds as our mail carrier because, better and faster means of communication have now been developed. Global position systems, GPS, have since replaced homing pigeons as our navigation systems.
Strangely enough though, even with the sophistry and variety of available means of communication at our disposal, it appears we communicate even less. We each live within a cyberspace of our own cyber cocoon, and are trapped in a cone of silence cut off from real human interactions. Communication is essentially now no more than WhatsApping, Facebooking, Twittering, Instagraming, and YouTubing. Language is reduced to abbreviations and symbols; LOL, ROTFL, LMAO, OMG, SMH, BRB, TTYL. The world, as it were, now speaks in thumbs, as the thumb – used to type on our mobile devices – has replaced the tongue as the organ of speech.
Scientific discoveries, in and of themselves, are a proof of the wonderful work of God in creation. They are not, and cannot, be evidence that there is no God, or that God is dead. For who but a super intelligent mind could have engineered the elaborate structure and functions of the human body? The share complexity of the wiring of the 86 billion cells of the human brain, could not have been conceived by a mere mortal but a Higher Being. Only the Almighty God could have laid out the universe in its entire splendor, with everything in its place in an orderly array.
When you walk on a crowded street and you look around you, what do you see? All around you is a sea of faces…so many faces, each one different from the other – African, Asian, Caucasian and Latino – with no two faces looking exactly the same. The sheer magnitude of all is breathtaking, and it makes you marvel at the awesomeness of the Creator of the Universe.
“For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” Romans 1:20.
Rather than glorifying God with each scientific breakthrough, the heart of man is lifted up in pride and arrogance. Puffed up in his knowledge and wisdom, he thumbs his nose at the One who stretched forth the heavens and set the earth on a firm foundation. Man looks with contempt at the Living Spirit who breathed his own life into all mankind and made them a living soul.
“Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done.” Romans 1:28.
The sepulcher of the human soul is littered with vain things. The mooring of the mind has been loosed. The mind of man is adrift in the sea of immorality, and his soul is marooned in the island of depravity. He is ensnared in the cesspool of wantonness and enslaved in the enclave of lasciviousness. Right and wrong have now taken on new meaning.
The scary part in all of these is that the pace of change is proceeding at a lightning speed. Like a freight train that has lost control, the world barrels downhill toward its destiny. That day of Divine retribution, when we shall all stand before a righteously angry God. From where I’m standing, that day is not too far out of sight. And I'd be wise to start building an Ark with which to escape the flood of anger of the Almighty God that is bound to come.