Google Balloons and the Gospel {A Less Digital Life…Day 20}

lostballoon

We walked into our friend’s office downcast at the news of another scuffle in the Middle East. When we asked whether he’d be canceling his upcoming ministry trip there, his eyes sparkled. We had looked at the situation from the exterior. He had seen it from the heart, he himself a native of the region. What this meant, he told us, was that people were becoming disenchanted with the way of their upbringing and were starting to search for truth.

We aren’t the only ones thinking of the global community. When my brother got hired at Google last year, I jokingly told him that it was his first step in trying to take over the world like Pinky and the Brain, his favorite cartoon as a kid. But in actuality, Google’s Project Loon description reads like a humanitarian missions pamphlet at an evangelical church: “Two-thirds of the world’s population does not yet have Internet access,” and these Internet balloons are “designed to connect people in rural and remote areas, help fill coverage gaps, and bring people back online after disasters.”

Sounds kind, but I’m bothered. What will become of us when there is no place with spotty Internet, no place to get away from the Internet altogether, when there is no cabin or lake house or country home that can truly be off the grid? If our only option for restful retreat is our own willpower to keep from turning on our devices, we may be toast. And maybe Facebook makes us all feel a little famous, but do we really want things hovering over us, sending signals here and there, maybe someday taking pictures of our houses even more invasive than the Google truck cams, polluting our privacy and never letting us be truly alone?

But before I get completely curmudgeony, my husband speaks up. When the world wide web truly becomes world wide, when those in rural and remote areas have access to the Internet, they can read or hear the Good News for themselves, a testimony to all ethnicities. Maybe the bad keeps getting worse, but the good keeps getting better all the same. My husband’s words, like our Middle Eastern friend’s view on the troubles of the world, keep me looking up…past the balloons. I’m reminded that technology isn’t going to tie up all the loose ends of humanity’s story, the Gospel is.

Here’s a little Internet break for you. Right now, before you do anything else online….
Go outside. Look up past the airplane trails and focus on handmade heaven.

 

 

{I’m linking up with Nester for her annual 31 Days blog get together. Don’t want to miss this series? Be sure to subscribe by entering your email in the box on the homepage sidebar. Find all posts in the series here.}

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