fancy washing machineSometimes I wonder if I (we) are overly technological. For example, my washing machine (which is technology) recently decided to display an error code instead of finishing a wash cycle. After trial and error, I resorted to the failproof method of fixing things – watching YouTube videos. I decided I knew the problem was the pressure switch. So I opened up the machine and couldn’t figure out which wire went to the pressure switch because my model didn’t match the video. Back to square 1. Eventually I ended up doing the really easy trouble-shoot method. Unplug the machine, turn the water to the machine off, then back on at full pressure. Of course the machine works fine now. But this overly technological piece of machinery cost me over an hour of work, plus several failed loads of laundry. Does a laundry machine really¬†need a computer on board? Does it really need 67 different cycles? After this little episode, I think not. My dad used to say he always bought a “basic” car because it had less stuff to go wrong. I always thought if something went wrong I could just fix it myself. But now I’m learning that to fix something requires a lot of time and effort that I don’t always have.

So where does this intersect the Bible, or theology? If we humans were intended to have a great helper as the story of Genesis 2 points out, then machines seem to be a poor one. In fact, I might argue that machines are worse helpers than animals at times. Though other times they are more productive than animals. But either way, machines are not perfect helpers. The more complicated machines become the greater potential as helpers they have – but they also have greater potential to become headaches. So in spiritual terms I might call a technological failure a window into reality. Nothing humanity can do or make is really perfect.

What do you think? By the way, I still love my smart-phone.

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