Are you plugged in?

I lost internet for two days over the weekend.  Many will read that sentence and feel my pain.  I can feel the shared sympathy.  Thank you!  There was a time when the internet could have gone out and I would have never known.  That time is long since past.  Now, it does not matter what I am doing, it involves the internet.

I have over 20 internet enabled devices in my home, and quite honestly, that is without trying.  I’ve passed on many options to include the internet that most likely won’t be options soon.  Did you know they make refrigerators that connect to the internet?  They have for years.  Soon it will be standard on all models.  I don’t own an internet watch, a web based doorbell, or WiFi light bulbs… but all of these have existed for quite some time.  My 20 devices online at the moment will likely become 40 in a very short amount of time… without even trying to buy internet enabled devices.

The true testament to how deeply I rely on the interwebs can be seen when the internet connection is dropped.  Because nearly everything we do relies on some form of connectivity, my plans are deviated when the outage occurs.  In other words, every single time the internet goes down, I have to find something else to do.  I have my own top 10 list of things I attempt to do to pass the time while the internet is out:

  1.   Organize my email (check from my backlog, reply, file things in folders, etc).
  2.   Play online games
  3.   Online banking
  4.   Get caught up on Facebook.
  5.   Watch videos on YouTube.
  6.   Talk to someone (using Skype or VOIP technology)
  7.   Just watch a movie (Netflix, Prime, Hulu, etc)
  8.   Do some shopping (Amazon, Newegg, Slickdeals)
  9.   Engage any of my hobbies (writing, photography, etc all requiring online tools)
  10.   Misc (Check news, sports stats, fantasy teams, taxes, browsing, etc… all online).

I have to go through a routine of shock and confusion before it sinks in that everything I do routes back to the internet in some way.  Even with the knowledge that my connection has been severed, my gut reaction based on habit and muscle memory is to try to do things that I forgot relied on that link.

This is very similar to how our relationship with God should be.  All things lead to Him.  He is a part of everything.  Everything that we do should honor Him and point to Him in some way.  Should He ever be apart from us… we would be hopeless.  Lost.  Worthless.

Jesus was disconnected from God when He took our place on the cross.  We call that ‘Hell’.

It’s getting more difficult to find things to do when the data stops pouring into my home.  Can we think of things that we can accomplish without God?  Can we imagine a world without God?  My hope is that we are so committed to the life God blessed us with that we serve Him in every act, word, and thought… so much so, that even without thinking, our muscle memory and great habits take over and we continue to nurture others as we build on the relationship ourselves.

 

 


Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
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Where Are My Gifts!?!!?

Gifts, in the eyes of man, are lacking in me.

I cannot sing. I cannot draw. I cannot play an instrument. I am not athletically advanced. I am not intelligenter.

According to how we grade each other in physical gifts, I am not very blessed.

In my dialogue with God I lean towards more meaningful gifts. Gifts of the Spirit. What has God given me? This is what really matters.

Well, I can’t speak in tongues. I don’t prophesy. I haven’t healed anyone. I have yet to turn water into Pepsi.

Perhaps you can relate to my struggle?

What is God’s plan for me? What am I supposed to be doing for Him? How do I work within my strengths, when I don’t know what they are, and often challenge weather I have any to begin with?

There is an often undesired answer. Read and pray. I’m going to stick with it for a reason. It’s what has worked for me. After a session of “why me” prayer and honest questioning of God, I finished my usual quiet time with a chapter in a book I was working through.

I read the most common sense statement that we all know. “Life is a gift. Every breath is a gift”. That was it. Nothing magical. Nothing really profound. But everything I needed to hear.

God proceeded to work through my heart how much forgiveness I needed. Which all by itself is a sad commentary.  I, the sinner, want to know where my gifts are!

I am a sinner. Jesus is a gift. Forgiveness is a gift… and how much of that I receive! Grace, salvation, heaven… all gifts. Not just gifts… the most important of all presents. Things I don’t deserve and yet am eternally nothing without.

I receive the most amazing gifts every day. I wake up. I breathe. I commune with The God. I am forgiven and I bask in epic and eternal promises from the creator of the world.

I asked where my gifts are and He showed me. I have more than most. I am overwhelmingly blessed. I hope you can see how you are too… and if you aren’t, how you can be.