If we take a look at the beginning, the very beginning, connections are extremely important.
Genesis chapters 1-3 point toward the fundamental place connections have within the human experience. God created humanity to connect with Godself. God created Adam and Eve to connect intimately as husband and wife. Further on in the text we read that God blesses Adam and Eve to multiply, establishing a genetic and emotional connection with offspring. God created the planet, and everything on it where-so-in Adam and Eve could reside. Interestingly, as people made in the image of God, they are to hold stewardship over it. There are connections all over the place. Those connections have connections. Most importantly however we see that God is at the centre of every single one of them. It is a Divine network.
Within a network, our connections become massive. We connect with fellow citizens of humanity of all races, spaces, sexuality and socio-economic realities etc… all over the place. For example what and how we buy has a far reaching consequences within our network. I asked a group of Jr High students where their tee-shirts were made. Their answers spanned the globe. Not surprisingly as we live in an era of globalization. The price they buy those shirts for deeply impacted those who made them in the seemingly far and distant countries that we like to forget.
Our collective human relationship with creation is another example. The way we use the earth, the pollution, the community gardens and the bicycle commuters all point to the connections we have. These actions have tremendous implications for those in other countries. All of a sudden everyone is really close… didn’t Jesus say love your neighbour as yourself?
When we all of a suddenly pay attention to where our clothes are made, or food is grown, and begin to look at what a fair price for all that stuff is, we are building a relationship with that person on the other side of the planet. When we become aware that our environmental choices have an affect on people who reside elsewhere on this planet we are loving our neighbour.
If connections are fundamental, then relationships are at the heart of the human experience. Within the context of humanity, relationships are born out of connections. The stronger the connection, the stronger the relationship. The simple example is found in any human relationship. You talk, you listen, and your physical presence or other all point to various was in which connections happen.
If connections break, or weaken in any way the relationship suffers. Think of the destructive nature of sin, that which separates us from the Divine. It disconnects us from God.
Let me put on my captain obvious uniform on for a second and identify that our collective and individual relationship with God, who created everything and loves us, is the central relationship; The sin, the redemption, the restoration, the forgiveness, the covenant, all of it. Think of Jesus as the divine connection that makes the relationship with God, and therefore everything else, jive. After all Jesus also said, ‘Love God.’ When we focus on this relationship with God, and all the other relationships available to us via this Divine network, we are in essence, a missional agent of God working toward the redemption and restoration of humanity and creation.
Imagine all this, originating in, and being sustained by, a loving God!
So when we have a technology that connects. It should be of no surprise that it becomes a important to people. We are compelled to connect. It is in our DNA. Below are some staggering numbers that indicate how important connection has become.
So I guess that leads me to what I am hoping to poke and prod with this mini series on “Compelled to Connect.” How do we use this technology to connect in a way that gives life, and connects us deeper into the bowls of relationship, as a community, within the larger redemptive heart of God? The next two on in this series will be dropping on Monday and Tuesday respectively, as I am wanting to post my notes on the sessions with Stuart Murray tomorrow.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this, as this is raw, and very much a work in progress for me.
(Hat Tip to Steve Plenart and Dan Dyck for pointing me, via facebook, to this wonderful graphic filled with staggering stats… click here)