Script, Andrea Rea, Wednesday December 14th, 2016
These days, there are lots of ways to keep track of how we’re feeling.
Phones and other mobile devices are loaded with apps that claim they can help diagnose common ailments, read our blood pressure and keep track of the calories we eat.
Even though I’m pretty sceptical when it comes to “easy” ways to stay healthy, I recently got a pedometer – that little device that ever so helpfully keeps track of the number of steps I we take. I figured it might be nice to know how active I was on a day-to-day basis, and, who knows? It might help motivate me to keep moving and keep those extra pounds at bay.
And I did really well at the start. Between walking the dog and the stairs at work, I managed to keep those numbers up.
The problem is, by keeping track of every step, I was losing track of the joy I once felt being in the great outdoors, enjoying a spontaneous extra lap ‘round the park just because the flowers were blooming, or the leaves were turning. And if I forgot to attach the little tracker to my belt, I might as well have not gone walking at all! If a tree falls in the forest, and there’s no little cyber device to track the speed of its trajectory, how do you know it really hit the ground?
Some weeks ago, the step tracker came unclipped from my belt and fell down a sewer grating as I crossed the road. I was really annoyed at first , but then, I got used to not counting every step – in other words, walking because I needed to get somewhere or for the sheer pleasure of it. Socrates said that an unexamined life is not worth living, but I’m guessing he never experienced the tyranny of a fitness tracker.
Lord God, help us to control the technology we’ve created with the minds you’ve given us, so we never lose sight of what you first created for us. Amen.