Obsolescence

VHS 1

cassettes 2

Last year we renovated our home, which necessitated moving everything out of its place. Since we have to downsize eventually, instead of moving my library of books around I decided to give them away, except for a few hundred bibles and reference works, to benefit bible school students. I thought my holdings could be put to better use by future preachers and Christian workers than one retired pastor, so about 7,000 volumes were packed into 270 cartons and donated to a local Christian college.

That still leaves thousands of VHS and cassette tapes, consisting of sermons, lectures in theology and apologetics, and all kinds of conferences and workshops on my favorite subjects, taught by the best Christian speakers in my era. I thought while my eyes can’t read small print anymore, I could still watch videos and listen to recordings to learn for a few more years. However, after procrastinating a year, I finally donated the bulk of my audio and video library as well, filling 80 cartons, to the same college.

I still have the equipment to play those tapes, but technological advances, like time and tide, wait for no man. Heb 8:13 … He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear. So before the VHS recorders and tape machines disappear from the college library altogether, I gave the tapes away while others can still use them.

I suppose the obsolescence factor is part of the life story for all of us. I remember when we first learned to use personal computers over 30 years ago, the IBM XT with 128-640 KB RAM was the mainstay in the business world. Then came the AT with 256 KB-16 MB RAM and a 20 MB hard drive, which was considered too advanced for home use. Today I have several thousand times more computing power and storage in my cell phone than that big, heavy, clunker.

So as one generation supersedes the previous, I think the best we can do is summed up in Eph 5:15-17 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Many of us act like fools bumbling in life not knowing what the will of the Lord is. I pray that we can wise up, walk carefully, and make the most of our time. Only one life, ’twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last (CT Studd).

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