by Rosie Adle
My husband teaches the seventh grade religion class at our school. He asked the students, “Where do people look for answers to the big questions of life, like where we came from, why we exist? What occupies our thoughts and time?” One student answered, “The Internet.” Bingo!
When you have questions, where do you go? Many of us go to the computer. Google may well be an idol in some sense of the word. Do you want to know where we came from? Google it. Do you want to know what’s the point of life? Google has 1,140,000,000 results for that search.
The Internet has eerily become about as close to omniscient as we can imagine. It has an answer for everything! And while it may not technically be omnipresent, living life online is the current reality for many. People post whatever they happen to be doing, eating, thinking or hoping at all hours of the day.
While this can be fun and helpful, we are also learning that the Internet is an unforgiving (certainly unforgetting) god. How do you remove words you shouldn’t have typed or pics that you shouldn’t have posted when they are stored on servers around the world for anyone to access?
This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t use the Internet. Scientists, programmers and technologists develop it and improve it to offer us many benefits in daily life. Its existence has incredibly important labor force implications, too.
But many things that benefit us may turn our eyes away from the one true God and the ultimate omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence that are His alone. Any good thing in life can become an idol by placing too much emphasis on it, or by putting full trust in it. And like the wood and metal idols of old, the Internet will fail us too, and those virtual letdowns are quite actual in many lives.
For the great contributions of science and technology, give thanks to the one behind it all – the One who grants all that is good in our lives, even Google! He holds the universe in His hands. Some things are beyond our grasp and even beyond Google’s grasp. To life’s trending questions, the Lord coolly responds:
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding” (Job 38:4).
Deaconess Rosie Adle is an online instructor for the distance deaconess program of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind. She is co-author of LadyLike: Living Biblically.