by Vyv Wainwright, Reader
Just recently at a dinner party I had a combination of Tiramisu, a fine cheese board and a glass of port and then discovered the consequences of such a combination.
As soon as I went to sleep I had a weird dream of the world floating in space but the planet surface was covered by what looked like a giant octopus. The suckers which held it on the planet surface switched on and off like small light bulbs. In my dream I asked, “What does all this mean?” Luckily Sir Bradley Wiggins was on hand to reply, having just completed the Tour de Yorkshire. ‘This is the internet.” Bradley explained that the giant structure covers the earth and each time people log on a sucker lights up. But then he warned me that folk are being sucked into the internet. Each time a light comes on it’s another person being sucked up. Oh dear! Then I woke up in alarm and panic. Luckily darling Ali muttered that the Rennies were in the kitchen cupboard. Thank goodness for that and off I toddled to sort out my indigestion and regain my composure.
But somehow what Bradley was saying seems true. Just think about the last time you were on a railway station or a cafe. What are people doing more and more? Look around you and you’ll see them checking their smart phones for texts, emails, and social media. So it seems as if more and more of us are being sucked into the internet. I’m sure some of us are addicted.
The internet is of course a really useful and interesting tool. The fact that you can look up what the Archbishop of York preached on last Sunday is all there at your finger tips. Yet it feels sapping. Sapping our desire to speak to one another we simply text instead of speak; we email rather than sit down and write a letter. Why – because we can. We can do it all on-line. But there’s something missing.
Think about the coming of the Holy Spirit, that great moment when God went global with his message, the moment when the Christians were enabled to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ across the earth. There is a fundamental difference. The Holy Spirit is God. God over the face of the entire planet, God being omnipotent, everywhere at once and empowering us to love one another, forgive one another and to bring good news to our world.
The internet can help us reach out to far-flung parts of the world but too many of us are missing out on the here and now by living our lives on-line. We forget the joy of the being with our neighbours and our loved ones. So rather than sending your text or email why not just switch off the computer or smart phone and do a really smart thing and go and see someone and have a real chat or write a letter and bring a little light and love to our world for a change. Go on give it a try and see what happens.
Let us pray that we too can, like those early disciples, be empowered by the Holy Spirit to share that love which is life giving to our world today.