Do you ever wonder how we managed before the internet? My wife runs a bouncy castle company and most weekends in the Summer we watch the weather closely. Yesterday was a typical British day weather wise where the sun and rain were politely taking it in turns to come out to play. We use the excellent MET office website and this screenshot shows the weather at 2pm yesterday just before we were due to deliver a castle. The pin on the map is where we are (for some reason the MET office lists Wivenhoe (a really small town) rather than Colchester)? There is rain on the map, but it was not over Colchester (or Wivenhoe!). The internet gives us access to information which is really helpful and I thank God for the access we have to so much of what is online that is good and useful.
I spend a long time checking the MET office site at weekends and when I need to know something my first instinct is to Google it. I wonder what we look to in order to get us through life generally? Who or what is guiding us through?
Christians claim to be led by Jesus, but is that true in reality? I checked the weather several times yesterday before our first delivery at 9.30am. What did I say to Jesus in that time? Did I acknowledge him or read the Bible or think about something the Bible said? God is always with me. For example I’m calm in most situations because of the presence of God but that doesn’t mean that it’s okay for me to ignore God most of the time. Why should it be okay to take God’s blessing and power but not to have a consistently meaningful relationship with him? Isn’t that a bit like having a one night stand rather than sex within a committed relationship? An arrangement where I get stuff that makes me feel good rather than a genuine on-going committed relationship where we aim to give and receive. Don’t you hate it when people ignore you? God is with us all the time and yet sometimes we ignore him. I want to be led by Jesus more consistently in my everyday life and I want to learn to connect with him as persistently as I do when I’m watching the weather on a potentially rainy day.
Do you remember Corporal Jones from Dads Army? His catchphrase was ‘Don’t panic Mr Mannering’. The sensationalist way that the national media reports the weather turns lots of people into corporal Joneses. ‘We’re going to have extremely stormy weather’ says the news, ‘but where’ I wonder? After all the UK is a big place (well it is unless you live somewhere much bigger)! We had our church fun day last month and there was a storm warning issued for that day which caused some concern. However, if you looked at the MET office weather map online you could see that Colchester (or Wivenhoe) was going to be fine in the afternoon. At 11am we had hail but from 11.30am we had glorious sunshine. When we only have half the truth it causes confusion and often panic. The headline was that it would be stormy but the full truth was the weather would be fine when we needed it to be.
Jesus is longing to lead us in life but we can turn to anything and everything but him and the Bible when looking for answers to issues we are facing. Do we say we trust in Jesus when really we usually get on with things without him? If this describes you, who do you blame when things go wrong? How can we complain to Jesus if we didn’t listen to him or seek him for guidance in a situation in the first place?
I love google search. If I need to know anything in a hurry I google it, but it dawned on me a few years ago that God is greater than google. I hope my first reaction in every situation is to turn to God and not google. May we trust in God to lead us forward in life and may we invest the time in our relationship with him that we should. The internet isn’t accessible from everywhere but God is with us and he will never leave us or forsake us.