I loved the question a swordfish (top class name) lad asked me when we were in the middle of a discussion about robots. Will they make us lazy? The choice is here. Sometimes we talk as if robots are a thing of the future, but already they challenge us. The TV remote makes us lazy. Washing machines are a fantastic time saver. Every new invention presents us with choice. When I get an electric buggy will I always sit in it, or only for the journeys I can't manage? Do I use a car for short distances when I could easily walk or cycle? Am I lazy?
Then there's the ghastly debate about automatic weapons that allow mad men (few women) to spray an innocent crowd with bullets. The simple robot that changes empties to live has much to answer for! It boils down to whether we control them, or they us.
In my prayers I find myself imaging an ordinary Japanese family, and wondering how they feel when North Korean missiles fly overhead. The rhetoric and sabre rattling are intensifying, so some disaster seems more likely. Who's in charge of these war robots?
We are constantly being challenged at domestic, community, and international levels to make wise choices. And of course that gift is part of what makes us human, it's the gift given by God in the garden of Eden. So instead of laziness, let's choose peace. This prayer has been used in our Churches for 550 years:
O God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed: Give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that both, our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that by thee we being defended from the fear of our enemies may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Amen to that.