When my dog Fred and I stepped into the park for an evening stroll last night, I noticed the pocket where I’d stuck my iPhone had gone empty. Don’t panic, I thought, you’ve only taken a few steps; certainly you’ll see it there on the ground. A traipse back and forth yielded nothing, nor did a dash back to the house, nor a dash back to the park as the night fell. Calling the phone repeatedly, I thought at least the darkness would reveal its incoming call-light, but . . . nothing. Then I remembered I had installed “Find my iPhone” at the advice of a young friend. Had I left it on? Would this really work?
What did I have to lose? My phone?
I dashed back to the house and found the Find My iPhone website, logging into the cloud and then hitting the “find my devices” link. To my shock and delight it brought up a map with a little green circle at my house (for my laptop) and another little green circle at the park. Mike drove me back to the park where I literally searched, computer and portable modem in hand, eyeing the little green circles as they changed positions, trying to approximate where in the grass the phone lay.
Silly me, I didn’t see the link for “play sound” until well into my search, but that link finally revealed lost lamb—I mean phone—face down behind a tuft of grass.
Okay, tech-savvy types, have a good laugh; but to me this was a paradigm-shifting experience.
Two revelations came:
One- Technology is more and more like God, putting God-powers in the hands of average, even stupid, people like you and me. I remember the days when a lost phone led to a “God knows where it is! Let’s pray!” moment. Now it will be, “Mac knows where it is! Let’s log in!”
Two: Privacy is a thing of the past. They know where we are. They know who we love.(Google calendar now has undeletable birthday notifications for your entire social media network!) They know what we eat, what we read, what we watch, what we write, what we speak, even what we think. Our only redemption is in living transparently, unashamed of our choices, even those made in the dark.
So let’s live lives clear as sunlight, right up until the moment they come for us and our children. “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me,” Matthew 24:9. Sure, the stakes of following Jesus are high. If you value physical safety and social acceptance above all, you’ll recoil from the risk. But if you cherish love, goodness, grace, and virtue, you’ll walk right into the fire.
Thousands of martyrs echo down the corridor of time that earth is not our home, and that heaven is cheap enough. I join them as I see a great war boiling on the horizon. The world will demarcate into but two classes. The hated class will run for the hills, and while technology may succeed in hunting them down, One greater than technology will make them willing to be hunted.