The next big thing

By: By Mac McPhail - Contributing columnist

“Everybody’s ready for the next big thing.”

That’s the tag line from the 2003 song, “The Next Big Thing,” by country music artist, Vince Gill. It’s a song about a singer planning on being “the next big thing” in country music. But the words to the song relate to more than just country music. Because it seems that we all are always looking for “the next big thing.”

Recently, a couple of friends and myself went down to Florida for an ECU football game. We drove down in my friend’s new SUV. It was a sweet ride, with the SUV having all the bells and whistles. But what impressed me the most was the Side Blind Zone Alert. It’s a little warning light on the side rear view mirrors that alert you that there is a vehicle in the blind zone that you can’t see normally with your side and rear view mirrors. No more turning and looking back to see if there is a car back there when changing lanes. (It was especially helpful considering the crazy traffic on I-95.)

I thought, “I’ve got to have that on my next car.” Since that trip, I’ve even thought about trading my car in for one with all of those extras. In reality, my car is perfectly good, and it doesn’t have that many miles on it. But all those bells and whistles on that SUV going to Florida were so cool.

This past weekend I was watching golf on TV. I noticed that several of the golfers were wearing different golf hats from what they usually wore. The caps had “M 1” on them. Later, I saw why in a commercial. Taylor Made, the golf equipment company, had come out with a new driver, the “M 1.” Of course, in the commercial, all the pros were proclaiming how much further they could hit a golf ball with the new driver.

Ironically, Taylor Made had just came out with a new driver, the R 15, early this year, which was supposed to get golfers the longest drives off the tee. But now, the M 1 will get you the longest drive. And for around $500.00, you can have the next big thing in golf.

I saw a news story on TV last week about a lady that had rigged a robot to stand in line for her with the crowds waiting for the new iPhone 6s. I don’t understand the big uproar about getting the latest smartphone. (It’s probably because I have a “dumb’ phone, an old fashioned flip phone.) But, evidently, having the latest in smart phone technology is worth waiting in line for. I remember seeing a TV commercial last year where a company said their smart phone was “the next big thing.” Not anymore, the iPhone 6s is here.

It seems that we all are attracted by what we think is the next big thing. It may be cool gadgets on a car, the latest golf club, or a smart phone that enables you take the perfect selfie. Why are we attracted to the next big thing? Why is it so hard for us to be content with what we have?

First of all, advertising works. It works well. On TV, you see all those folks apparently being so happy because of something you don’t have. So you think, “If I have that new thing, I can be just as happy as those folks.”

Probably the main reason we’re always looking for the next big thing is that it’s just not natural for us to be content. The apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians echoes that sentiment when he wrote, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstance. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.” Phil. 4:11-12 (NIV) The secret that Paul learned for contentment was “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having stuff, as long as stuff doesn’t have you. That’s if you can afford it, and are wise and generous with your finances. My next vehicle I buy will probably have Side Blind Zone Alert. It may help me avoid an accident. Down the road, I may have a M 1 driver. But it will be after several newer versions come out and the price drops a lot. And when my old trusty flip phone finally dies, I’ll get a smart phone. (I just hope I’ll be smart enough to be able use it.) But, by then, who knows what “the next big thing” will be.

Mac McPhail, raised in Sampson County, lives in Clinton and can be reached at

By Mac McPhail

Contributing columnist

Mac McPhail McPhail

Mac McPhail, raised in Sampson County, lives in Clinton and can be reached at