Google as my Crystal Ball

I hope the idea of Google as a crystal ball seems absurd to you. It does to me too, but sometimes, I’m afraid, my actions tell differently.

We live in a world engorged with information. Decades ago, if we were driving home and thought of something we wanted to find out, we’d think, ‘I’ll have to get down to the library sometime this week and look that up.’ Now we try to stop ourselves from googling while driving.

We have become so accustomPicture2ed to having information at our fingertips, that the concept that something may be unknowable is virtually inconceivable.

Quantities of information beyond our comprehension have become a cheap commodity; an expectation. Google has become our all-knowing god; our source of all truth. I fear that far too often we forget that it has limitations. For example, it cannot tell the future.

I’m ashamed to admit it (though I suspect I’m not alone) that I have, on occasion, asked (or been tempted to ask) the Google-god things that it cannot know. ‘What should I do in this situation?’ ‘Am I going to get married?’ ‘Will that student ever mature into a decent human being?’

We humans have become inflated with information to the point that we tend to believe there is nothing we (or Google) cannot know. Remember this human: Our knowledge is but a drop in the ocean. And the future is, as it always has been, in the mind and hand of the Almighty alone.

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How do you know… if it’s a date?

Photo Credit: april-mo. flickr

I’ve pondered this one. My girlfriends have pondered it. My guy friends have pondered it. And no one seems to have a definitive answer.

Sure, it’s usually not a life or death question, but I have known of a woman who almost choked on her meal when it became abundantly clear to her that she didn’t know the answer to this question in relation to the man sitting across from her.

I have a feeling that the Yanks (is that still a politically okay term to use?) may have this one fairly down pat… in fact, so might every other country… but for us Aussies, it seems to be a vague free-for-all in which everyone has their own opinion and people go out on one-on-one-catch-up-non-date-thingies at their own peril, unsure of whether or not their own personal anatomy-of-a-date matches up with their partner’s (or non partner maybe, because really we don’t know.)

Of course we’re not complete imbeciles. If they make a move, it’s (probably) a date, if they arrive on your doorstep with flowers, it’s (probably) a date, if they talk about another person that they’re interested in, it’s (probably) not a date. But as for everything in between? Well you never can tell.

So, for the Aussies: What constitutes a date for you?

And for the non-Aussies out there: What are the ‘rules’ in your country?

Please comment, it just may save a life.

If God is good, why doesn’t he stop human suffering?

Photo Credit: benreed.net

I know there is great risk of sounding trite in attempting a short answer to such a complex question, but I recently received an insight that I found quite profound.

We live in a world damaged by sin. As long as Satan is the god of this world there will be suffering. Most Christians accept this truth, but it is difficult knowing that God could stop it.

So, what would an end to sin and suffering look like? We would have a gloriously perfect world! A world, in fact, exactly like the one God has promised will come one day. The question, therefore, is not, ‘why won’t God end suffering,’ but rather, ‘why won’t God end suffering now?’

I recently heard Dr. Les Crawford, from the Adelaide College of Ministries, make this comment: ‘If God brought in the new heaven and the new earth now – that would be the end of redemption.’

It really hit me. To end suffering would mean to destroy all that is corrupted by sin. And God’s glorious agenda is to bepatient…not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Some people face horrific suffering in this life, and I don’t want to trivialise that, but we must not judge God to be unkind for not yet transforming the world. He does it out of a heart of amazing grace, because He knows that while we are here, our suffering is temporary, but once the doors close on redemption, it is eternal.