You’ll never guess what I’m going to say next! JK!!

My cell phone knows what I’m thinking! It is spooky how it can be so accurate about what words are coming to my mind next as I type out a text message. It is like it can read my mind!

Well, actually I don’t think it can do that. At least not quite yet… maybe soon though.

On the keyboard app I use for all of my texty transmissions , the app serves up possible words that I may want to use, based on the first letter I type in. If I type an ‘H’, it gives me the single letter option, or How or Hey. If I type a ‘V’ it gives me the single letter, then Very or Volleyball. If I type an L, then Lindsay immediately pops up.

The app has been recording and remembering the words I frequently use. It then offers these most used words and phrases to help me more quickly create the message I want. It starts out just remembering the words themselves. Then it learns over time about the order of the words and who I am texting them to. After several months with this app, it knows a lot about the sentences and phrasing I repeatedly send.

Speaking of repetition, I do a LOT of repeating myself by text message.

I type out orders each week by text for our restaurant. These orders have product names that I have used over and over. The phone learned them and now it is easy to send a list of Budweiser products to my salesman Joe. When I start a message to him, and type the letter ‘B’, the phone gives me Bud – Light – Bottle, as the first three words, just after typing the simple single letter ‘B’.

I joke with people about being short on help at the restaurant. It has happened so many times, and I’ve sent the same SOS notice out every time. At this point my phone knows what I want to say. If I type the letter ‘A’, the app does the rest… Any – Chance – You – Would – Be – Up – For – A – Shift – Tonight – At – The – Iron.

Really… I all I have to type is an ‘A’ and all the other words are immediately served up in perfect order.

This is a helpful device, my phone. This specific app assists me in the ‘work’ I do with it. There are a lot of detailed and specific communications that it enables me to accomplish very quickly. (And just like anyone else, I waste a lot of time with it too!)


There is another piece of technology that must utilize the same code and programming features. My brain, my mind or lack thereof, seems to rely on the same predictive logarithmic structure. If I look at the first letter I type as corresponding to almost any number of thought triggers that occur in my everyday life, I see the same domino effect plain as day.

I could notice a negative scene played out in front of me, or recall some issue from my past. I could start the day later than I’d like to, or hear some news that discourages me. Any initial trigger it seems, (just like the first letter I type) can immediately link to another similar and even increasingly irritating prediction for the immediate future.

“Crap! – Now I’m behind, my day is started late. – I will have to fit more stuff in less time. – I probably won’t get everything done that I need to before the afternoon. – I really can’t get ahead like I wanted to today! – Dang! Now I was in a hurry and I crunched my finger, and broke my sunglasses. – Dammit! Now I knocked over this cup and have a mess to clean up too! – I’ll never get everything done!” (which is only always a true, no matter what, and actually a helpful statement to become okay with)

Well… You get the idea, right…

I suppose there are happy times too, when one thought leads directly into another and another, each more uplifting than the one before. I would love to say this is the majority of my inner mental world. Buuuuuuuut… Truthfully, it’s not.

The real question is this: Am I as much of a broken record, constantly repeating myself over and ever over, as it appears on the predictive keyboard app on my phone? Do I express a range of interesting ideas covering topics far and wide, with dynamic personal diversity? Or, more likely, do I get too comfortable in the cycle of the same ol, same ol. Do I want the rut that lay before me, one that I trod previously, and already before? Is there a way to notice and be aware of my constant choice and options, as I move through my life?

Even on my phone – that prompts and almost rewards the same ol story, told again and again, for convenience and efficiency sake, I have a choice. I can always there, switch things up. I have the whole alphabet to play with. I can write any story I want, at any time I want. I can pray for guidance on what story may be God’s will. I can slow down and discern a new route hidden just on the edge of my periphery.

I don’t have to keep regurgitating the same speeches over again, just because that is what I have always done. At least that is what I would like to think. It is easy to think things. Doing them seems to be the catch. Committing to action, making new things happen, even if we don’t know what to expect next, is thrilling. A scary thrill maybe, but so what…

We already know the same ‘ol story. The spin created by it’s constant monotone revolution is the only life it has. An old wooden toy it is. Well worn, we pick it up over and over and over again… while all around us, God’s creation is available. It may be work, yes, it may be rewarding too.

Rigging up our sails and preparing for a new voyage takes more effort than hanging in our hammock watching the same scene day after day from the guarded security of the harbor. One of my favorite quotes, I have mention here before

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” ― William G.T. Shedd

Until next week, be well my friends – take a new chance, good luck and Godspeed!


Aaron Nichols


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