By Jody Bennett
It amazes me that some things that have long-ago been surpassed in a technological sense are still around and flourishing today. I'm sure that, at one time, these "simpler" inventions would have been predicted to go the way of the dinosaur because of modern advancements.
Think about bicycles – they have been far surpassed as a form of transport by the car, bus, train and motorbike, but still vast quantities of bicycles are sold each year and riding one is a skill almost every child acquires.
Despite being 'old school', they still have the advantage of not needing a license, being quicker than walking and just as independent, being environmentally and physically friendly, and being cheap to run.
Not only are bikes still made, they have advanced greatly in design, to the point where you can get some that do cost as much as a car!
The humble lead pencil is another example. It has been overtaken by push-pencils, pens, markers, textas and, more recently, styluses, but still each year on school booklists, thousands of HB pencils are required. Like the bicycle, pencils have the advantage of being cheap and good for children, as they are easy to use. Pencil marks are also easy to correct, won't run, work on surfaces pens cannot (like wood or brick) and wash out of fabrics, so are useful for dress making.
Apparently US aerospace engineers worked very hard to develop a pen that would write in space under conditions of zero gravity – Russian astronauts just used pencils!
Even printed matter, liked this newspaper, books and magazines one would have thought would quickly become obsolete because of electronic media. But though the printed page is not in as great demand as it used to be, it is difficult to imagine that the world will ever be completely paperless. Books don't need to be recharged, don't keep interrupting your reading with Facebook updates, are easier than screens to read in the sun and lend to others, safer to read in the bath, and less likely to be stolen at the beach!
Also, printed matter can be easily distributed and marketed to people who would never go looking for that information online.
In the same way, many people thought the Bible would have become obsolete by now – superseded by other philosophies and religious writings or debunked by discoveries of modern science. An ancient book, written by a largely despised, nomad people group and cobbled together from writings of different eras and genres.
And yet the Bible is still the most read book in the world, available in every major language, in multiple formats and translations, having withstood every scrutiny levelled at it by archaeology and history. It has inspired millions to accomplish important things like abolishing slavery, starting hospitals, orphanages and universities, and discovering and civilizing the world.
In addition, many millions have found the Bible's teachings to be so revolutionary and life changing that they have been prepared to die or suffer torture, rather than deny its instructions.
In this crazy world of change and rush, why not enjoy some timeless insights and age-old goodness by taking time out in your busy day to centre yourself with some unchanging wisdom from the greatest book ever published? •