This past week I had one of the scariest and most disconcerting experiences ever. But before I begin to share this experience, I need to give you a little background. My teenage years were basically from 1957 to 1964. Like many other young people, in those years I tried to “find myself”, or define who I was. That is, I was looking for “who is the you that others are relating to”. During those impressionable years our experiences impact us in ways that tend to leave indelible marks on our mind, memory and character. But in our latter years, in our 60’s or 70’s, a ‘thing’ called nostalgia sets in and we look back at those significant teenage or earlier years; glancing through old photos, videos, play some of our yester-year favorite music all of which bring back some of the good-old, fond memories.
A few months ago we decided to disconnect from all of our television channels (tell-a-vision), we canceled our subscription (or should I say, prescription) and started using the internet only as the source of our cyber information. It did not take long to realize that our cell-phone and computers not only took up the TV watching time, but soon became a morning to bed time companions. Between these two communication devices our past could meet our present and influence our future in one click. Obviously the amount of information that is available is astronomical. But being limited in our/my capacity as to how much of that world we/I want or can entertain, we/I pick and choose our/my topics of interest while the cyber world knows how to ‘expand our horizons’ by directing us to other options. Of course at the same time there is another unseen reality that is working behind the scenes to subtly and deviously entice our interests, passions and desires. Probably the most influential is what is called the YouTube application. If you have any experience with this user app (or abuser app?) you know what I mean.
This brings me to the point of an early morning experience that I will never forget. Six months of being under varying degrees of lockdown, one finds themselves more and more dependent on the internet for many things. For entertainment I started looking into documentaries related to famous and influential people of my past (way past). Music was my favorite area of interest. And so, the other night YouTube introduced me to one of their many choices of 50’s and 60’s music. One could listen all at once to excerpts of 100 songs, each lasting about 10 seconds. I clicked and started to listen, which meant around two hundred songs, some repeats. Although it was a very short time span, yet I went to bed with many of those songs playing in my mind. The following morning, upon waking up from a dream in which I was walking in my parents’ house singing a Ricky Nelson song “Hello Marylou Goodbye Heart”, I suddenly realized that my mind was locked into hearing song after song, after song and I could not shake it off. I thought that my mind and memory fused and that I had become a permanent juke box. This went on for about five to ten minutes, before I started crying out to YHVH in the name of Yeshua for help. Suddenly it was as if someone pulled out the plug and it stopped. I took a deep breath and started praising and thanking Yeshua for the divine intervention. Needless to say, this was a lesson learned in what could have been a “hello new reality, good bye heart”!
A couple of days later I started thinking about the YouTube, and why this application was so named. We know what the “you” refers to, but why the “tube”? What is a tube? I remember going swimming with an inner-tube, which was a rubber tube from a tire which when filled with air made a great play toy. When I studied biology, I encountered many tubes in the body’s anatomy. Tubes are found in science, in the home, everywhere there are tubes. Their simple definition is, “a long, hollow cylinder of metal, plastic, rubber, glass etc. for holding or transporting something chiefly liquids, gases” and I might add “spirits”. Perhaps our brains and our minds are like a tube. In the beginning they are empty and hollow, but as we experience life they begin to be inflated, until their content defines our “you”. Thus the simple idea behind the YouTube is to help us discover a new reality as to who we are according to the image and likeness that the internet algorithm determines. I realized that when it comes to the use of this tool, one has to really pay attention to whether one has the permission from the Holy Spirit to make that “click”. Yeshua’s words to me after that episode were:
“ You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah… And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of Elohim …To Yeshua the Messiah be the glory both now and forever. Amen” (2nd Peter 3:17-18; Romans 12:2).