spiritual musings--understanding God

Facebook is a little like God

8:50 PMHeather

It began innocently enough. My sister-in-law Carrie suggested we join this new fangled internet thingy called Facebook. She was moving off to Ohio for college, and said we HAD to join so we could stay in touch with her. She logged onto her profile on her new college-ready laptop to show us how FABULOUS it was. My computer saavy husband was game....being technically challenged, I reluctantly agreed for the love of Carrie.

How naive I was in the beginning! Like Bambi stumbling through his first attempt to stand...I somehow managed to create my account. And on occasion, I would actually remember how to log in and check in on Carrie. My, how times have changed! If I had to be honest about my hobbies, I would have to list scrap booking, writing (and blogging of course), reading...and Facebook. Make fun of me if you'd like....but Facebook has allowed me to connect with people I have not seen in literally decades. We have planned a sorority reunion AND a baby shower via Facebook, and I have online chatted with friends in France and Japan. (I have also successfully managed to stay in touch with my sister-in-law.)

So, this all had me thinking about how Facebook is a little like God. I was considering a blog post on this topic when my pastor began a new sermon series on faith entitled "Faithbook." A-ha! I'm no fool...I knew that I had to share my random spiritual musings with you.

You see, God wants to be our friend. In fact, every person on the earth has a friend request, just sitting and waiting for a response. 1 Peter 3:9 says that, "He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish." But, like Facebook, we have to ACCEPT that friend request. Revelations 3:20 says, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in." Once we have accepted the friend request, it's a done deal. We have a relationship with the God of the Universe. An active prayer life involves writing on God's wall, and reading what He writes on ours. We even have access to "online chatting" with Him anytime, anywhere. But, sometimes, we forget to log in--getting sidetracked by the speed of life. We go on about our day, missing the message He has for us. And, what nuggets we would find if we'd just open up our Bible to read those messages! I hardly go a day without checking in on Facebook....hmm. I can't always say the same about my Bible reading habits.

Like Facebook, God also sends us flair. Have you ever gotten a piece of flair on Facebook that just made your day? You know--you laughed out loud, or were happy someone thought of you? God does that! If we'd just look around, we'd see the pieces of flair that He sends us daily. Sometimes, it's a prime parking space when you are a new mom, dragging around a clumsy infant carrier. Or, maybe it's a well spoken and thoughtful word from a friend JUST when you need it. Perhaps, it's a plumber who comes immediately when your hot water heater is spraying water all over your laundry room during aforementioned Facebook-planned baby shower.

Here's another way Facebook is a little like God. Maybe you, too, have recently discovered even more about your Facebook friends through the 25-random-things-about-me game. God is like that! We may THINK we know Him. But, you see, there's an endless list of random things about Him that we can spend a lifetime striving to learn. I love how Ephesians 3:18 says that we need power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep the love of Christ is . And, like these fun lists, it's so rewarding to learn more about Him! It allows us to love him more, to serve him better, to be better equipped to invite others to be His friend (and follower), too.

The body of Christ also has similiarities to Facebook. Our family of faith should be like the "home page" on Facebook--where we can see the updates on each other's lives, knowing the status of our friends and what is going on with them. Church isn't a place to paste on a fake smile, covering up the pain or struggles with which we are really wrestling. When asked how we are, we should say, "Heather is boo today!" or "Heather is trying to figure out this parenting thing." Through our FAITHbook family, we can unite to create groups and tackle causes, drawing the attention of others, inviting them to join, too. We should tell our friends, and they can tell theirs, and so on, and so on.

Even the Facebook motto is a little like God. When you log onto Facebook, it says, "facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life." This is true. There's something nice about having Facebook in common...a common forum--a common ground--that brings me together with people I may not connect with otherwise. God is like that! He helps us connect with those already in our lives--to share with them more effectively. He is the foundation for a successful marriage, the owner's manual for our kids, and the answer for confusing relational issues. And, for those more on the "fringe" of my life...facebook gives us a common ground. God, too, is the common ground--all the world over. No matter where you go, in any country or city, you can connect with perfect strangers because of God.

You know the most amazing thing about Facebook that makes me think of God? Someday, I'll look into his FACE and find that my name is in the BOOK of life! That makes me want to change my status...."Heather is eternally grateful, covered by grace."

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