The One We’ve Been Looking for All Along

I just became a statistic: one of the thousands (millions?) of people whose email address get hijacked by spammers. I discovered this by getting some rejected mail from some of those spammers.

What a creepy world we live in; we not only can fall victim to a random street crime (always a risk in broad daylight around Berkeley); there are knock ‘em down “games” by hoodlums. And now we can fall prey to online criminals, who want to steal our passwords or even our identities.

As for the latter, I’ve had that happen a few times too. It’s another disturbing experience to get a phone call from, say, Bank of America, telling you that someone applied for a credit card in Las Vegas in your name. While, in the past, there were only limited ways a criminal could abuse you, now the possibilities are infinite.

If you’ve read my articles before, you know that I have decidedly mixed feelings about all technology. On the one hand, the computer is wonderful, for instance finding information censored by the MSM. It’s also a way to reach out and touch people all over the world, such as I’m doing right now by writing this.

But just as there are good people on the streets of Berkeley and New York, there are a lot of bad people as well. And this is true about the Internet; there are those using the new technology to help humankind. And then there are those dirty, rotten scoundrels who have no qualms about ripping people off, virtually.

The older I get, the more I become one of those people nostalgic for the “old days.” Of course, those days had their problems as well (though, at this moment, I’m hard pressed to think of anything).

I always shock young ‘uns when I tell them what it was like back in the day: For instance, telephones were landlines, with no answering machines. Either you answered the phone or not. And if the person got a busy signal, you know what? Everyone lived.

I still recall when I first moved to Berkeley thirty years ago and got my first telephone here. Those were the days before toll free numbers and customer service assistants from India.

I went over to the Pacific Bell store in North Berkeley, and patiently sat down and waited my turn. When the salesman assisted me, I had my choice of phones (they were free back then), as well as my pick of phone numbers.

It was the same scenario when I set up my utilities: I went to storefronts, met with live people, and made a human-to-human connection.

I can still remember when things changed: when corporations started gobbling each other up, and 800 numbers became the norm. Rather than interacting with a warm body, you called some phantom person somewhere in the United States. Of course, this has morphed into calling cheap labor oversees. How bizarre and unsettling that people all over the world have your personal information — social security number, mother’s maiden name — at their fingertips.

Most young people these days are fine with all of the virtual people in their lives. And some prefer as little contact with human beings as possible; face-to-face interactions are becoming more foreign and uncomfortable.

There’s a wonderfully wise and witty book on the subject, Talk to the Hand. It’s written by an older woman, who also grouses about how alienating is this Brave New World. She thinks that this dependency on computers has made millions of people functionally autistic. They can message people all over the world, but they don’t know how to look into another’s eyes.

I was talking to a new 50-something friend about this subject the other day, about how strange is the world we live in. We have two worlds to contend with: the real one and the virtual one, and it’s getting harder and harder to tell the two apart.

My insightful friend responded, “There are only two things that I know to be true. One is what is happening right before my eyes. And the other is God.”

So what is real? What is worthy of our constant attention? Is it World of Warcraft, X Box, CNN, or MSNBC?

I think it’s as my wise friend said: only this precious moment is real. . .and God. God is steadfast and unchanging; He is the only anchor in life’s turbulent storms.

And He is here, right now, just waiting for us to awaken from our lifelong slumber. All we need to do is take a moment and look. He –not Obama, not Biden, nor any human being — is the One we have been looking for all along.

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30 Responses to The One We’ve Been Looking for All Along

  1. ab says:

    YAY! I thought you were dead in a ditch somewhere. Sorry, channeling my mother. Glad you’re back.

  2. LindaC says:

    Absolutely thrilled you are back! I checked every day.
    You make me smile even when you write about a meloncholy subject.
    I am no stranger to hacked accounts and it is just debilitating.

    Much luck! Stay well.

  3. Bruce O says:

    Hi Robin ! I sure have missed your common sense. I, too, was worried about you, and am glad that you’re OK. Sorry about your bad “virtual” experience.

    As for the internet/technology…I’m 60 yrs old and had never gotten on a computer till 4 yrs ago. I’ve been astounded at the connections and friendships that are possible on line.

    Case in point is how worried we all were for you 🙂

  4. Paul Hubert says:

    Robin,

    I was certain you were SAFE, since I know Who protects you, but of course I missed your commentaries. I’ll have to re-read the poem a number of times – I like it more each time through.

    But, as to knowing what is in front of our eyes, I think we need to be careful of that as well. Things are not always as they appear, and since our God IS in full control, what appear to be disasters are likely to be His victories in the end.

    ph

  5. lethargic says:

    So glad to “hear from you” Robin! I’m one of those that wrote AT asking where you were. With the recent news from Oakland in particular, I was concerned. Sorry that you got hijacked, but glad it was only a virtual crime, not flesh and blood. God bless you.

  6. raltnee67 says:

    Three months without seeing Robin! Here in snow country we usually have to wait till Spring to see one. Good to have you back! Praise God!

  7. danc97 says:

    Boy oh boy, have I missed your posts, it is great to hear that you are well.
    I remember when the phones were provided for free (they were still property of Bell Tel though). I remember that if you were not home, no one could get a hold of you, no cell phones either.
    Have a great year and I cannot wait for you next post, God Bless You Robin of Berkeley

  8. PlainSharon says:

    Yes, I have been looking for you! And getting quite concerned. So glad you have not given up on God, politics or us.
    Nothing more to add to what has already been said here except to add my thanks for letting us “hear” from you.
    I have read your articles faithfully for several years and have loved seeing your spiritual transformation so I finally joined here and -voila!!- you are gone- thought I had run you off. LOL.

  9. Paul Hubert says:

    Robin,

    This isn’t for publication (necessarily, that is), but have you seen the Liberated blog?

    http://liberatednow.blogspot.com/

    http://liberatednow.blogspot.com/2012/01/marriage-and-me.html

    A number of good articles out here.

    ph

  10. The Fair One says:

    Thank goodness you are all right! I have been so worried that you were ill or that something terrible had happened to you. Your voice has been sorely missed and I hope you will have time to post more frequently as your insights are always a breath of fresh air!

    • Robin says:

      You guys are the best! Thanks so much for your interest and concern.

      • Ronbo says:

        You need to move out of Berkeley ASAP.

        It’s civil war on the West Coast in the spring.

        I would suggest Kalispell, Montana where patriots from all over the country gather at the Red Lion Hotel in the downtown at 2:00 p.m. every Sunday.

        Tell them “Ronbo sent me.”

        • Robin says:

          Tell me about it, sir. It’s crazy and creepy. What is even more upsetting to me is the millions (literally) of dollars drained from a poor city like Oakland to pay for police overtime and the repairs of City Hall. This city has already made steep cuts in social services and numbers of police. The schools are shameful, and the streets of poor areas are snake pits. Where’s the outrage about this?

          What I’m finding is that there are many good people attending the Occupations. . but then hours go by, and copious drugs are ingested, and the decent, well meaning people leave, the anarchists take over. And people are being influenced (hypnotized, if not possessed) at these things, and then turn violent. (A l5 year old Oakland male involved in the Occupations killed his parents right after the last melee. The old Weatherman brainwashed their young charges, and are doing the same to many well-intentioned young people involved to give their lives a sense of meaning.)

  11. grace_ia says:

    Like so many others, I have missed you. After a while, I was afraid something devastating had permanently removed you from our lives. So very glad that I was wrong.

    Your writings have always struck a cord with me.
    I can identify with having friends or relatives who seem to be on the wrong track both religiously and politically.
    I, too, am leary of technology while using and loving certain aspects of it.
    For these reasons and many more, I have always valued your comments and insights.

    Welcome back.

  12. Joe Mudd says:

    Hey Robin
    Thanks for posting. It’s awesome when you read
    exactly what God has been saying to you on one
    of your favorite blogs. Thanks for the confirmation.

  13. tsadok40 says:

    I join with the others in saying that I was pleased to see that you had posted again. It was like seeing an old friend again after an extended absence. I have missed your articles, which are usually a welcome breath of sanity in the blogosphere. I am glad to hear that you are doing well. Blessings to you and your household.

    Rick

  14. ford says:

    Robin,
    A short few days ago I was discussing with a friend whether either of us had seen or heard anything regarding your writings. We agreed that neither had seen anything since sometime in October. I’m glad to have found this post and am reminded that “HE is an ever present help in a time of trouble.”
    LORD bless you as, you are to others.
    Ford

  15. Paul Hubert says:

    Yes, glad to see you back.

    I was exposed to politics in my teens and quickly learned what a dirty business it is. I know you didn’t mention this, but the attacks on Herman Cain were certainly a refresher course in what I already knew.

    Your friend, of course, is right that the ONE constant we can trust is Almighty God, Himself.

    As I have been telling others for some time: I’m not worried about all the mess around us, because I know God is in absolute control. All we need to do is our very best to seek to love Him powerfully – and to seek HIM before all things.

    In Ephesians we read that having done all to STAND. Well, I believe Jesus’ two most important commandments are the ideal place to make our stand.

    The real meaning of “God is love” is far more profound than the time in which we can read or mouth the words would suggest.

    It is foundational to all existence and it is up to us to discover HOW.

    [37] And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. [38] This is the great and first commandment. [39] And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. [40] On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
    (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)

    In Deuteronomy we read the origin of this:

    4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.2 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ESV)

    I DO also believe in the application of intercessory prayer to the situations in this world, but each follower of Jesus must really do what THEY are called to, rather than try to do what they see others doing.

    God bless, Robin!

    And, as a cousin-in-law of mine always closes:

    Peace.

    • volvoman says:

      I want to echo what others have said. It is great to read a new posting. I have been checking your blog often and worried that you were not well. Your fans in Santa Cruz can breathe a sigh of relief!

  16. 98ZJUSMC says:

    Glad to read you are doing well, Robin. Welcome back and hope all your goings on are productive and safe.

  17. Will Penny says:

    Just dang. A breath of fresh air.

  18. volodya4@hotmail.com says:

    Wonderful to have you back. You’ve been missed by this household — A household in Berkeley itself, whose inhabitants feel completely in sync with your ideas. Can’t wait for the next blog.

  19. Care says:

    Great Honk, Robin! I’ve been worried sick about you. Checked your blog-er-e-nooo pert-near every day.
    Very thankFul you are back in the saddle.

    The stabilizing immutable anchor truth is this, Robin: “The Kingdom of God is not in trouble. It never has been. And that is where we dwell.” Dallas Willard

    And this: “The plot of our lives is perfectly fashioned to make us cry out, “Abba Father. My LORD and my God.”

    So no hand-wringing necessary. All is well

  20. johnindublincalifornia says:

    Glad to see you’re back Robin, you’ve been missed. Was worried you were ill or somehow unable to post, but we all know how life can sometimes just overwhelm. Anyway, happy to see you again!

  21. John Chavous says:

    Hey! I just wrote the editor of AT yesterday. So I guess one of those people was me.
    Not only that but I had just started a thread about you at Free Republic before I heard you had posted today.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2839016/posts

    It’s so good to hear from you!

  22. Billiam says:

    Missed you, and damn glad you’re back. Your post made me think back with a smile. When I first moved out on my own, I was setting up phone service. They asked me if I wanted a party line or private line! What a hoot! Seriously, girl. It’s good to read you again.

  23. baseballmaven says:

    Ahhh, what a welcome sight–your name in my google reader this morning–I so value all of your blog posts.

    Glad you are well, and sorry to hear about your virtual theft experience…having had my home burglarized and trashed just before Christmas, I understand the feelings….I now have what I thought I’d never consider–an alarm system–sad to say.

    Anyhow, so glad you’re ok and hope you have a blessed New Year!

    • Robin says:

      Hello, and thanks for your well-wishes. . and so sorry to hear about the burglary. That is awful. What a world we’re living in — but this is what inevitably happens when people reject God.

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