I was thinking about how our world has changed so quickly. Our lives are so different from what they were for our parents or grandparents. Of course they are especially different in the terms of electronic devices. I remember reading that in the 1950's they were first developing a working computer and it required the space of a small home. Now I have a computer that fits into the space of my hand.

We look at time differently, as well. In our parents and grandparents day, folks took more time with things in which we don't seem to place the same level of importance. Mostly I'm thinking about personal relationships. They took time to visit, to stop and talk with friends when they met them unexpectedly. They visited their neighbors, shared part of the latest batch of cookies they had just made, helped repair that fence or paint the house. Today, our lives are ruled by how much we can get done in the shortest amount of time and how long we can continue doing it.

We plan our days and then work at the plan. Of course that is not all bad. We are supposed to manage our lives wisely, aren't we? I do that so it must be alright! Right? I generally spend part of my early mornings corresponding and writing. However, I think that I may have discovered that I've fallen into a trap. As I have been reviewing my typical day lately, I've found myself far too often jotting off a quick email note rather than picking up the phone and calling personally or making a visit. It is more efficient to do this cyberspace-style, isn't it? I can stay in contact with more people, over a greater distance, in less time. So, I am a better manager, right? We are, after all, only a keystroke away. That is what I told a friend recently.

Something is lost in all of this. It is the personal part of relationships. There is something about the sound of the voice of my friends or the clasp of a handshake that warms my heart. Yes, it feels good to receive an email from a friend, but I feel more of a sense of peace, a sense of warmth and encouragement, when we talk.

I know that you are sitting at your computer reading this thought. You are comfortable, you are protected, you are safe and spam filtered as you sit in that chair and only a keystroke — the delete button — away from removing anything you don't like. But, let me encourage you to make some personal contact with someone today — perhaps someone you haven't talked with or visited with for far too long. You need the contact. You both need the encouragement.

The writer of the book of Hebrews puts it this way:

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness" (Hebrews 3:13 NIV).

We need cyberspace and face-to-face communication.
While I can't personally contact everyone who reads this, I can encourage you to reach out and encourage someone in your own life — in a personal way that involves the sound of your voice and the touch of your hand.