I was contemplating electricity today and how, in the electronic world, so much of what we have never goes away. Think about the fact that you are right now reading this blog on a browser. To read this, your browser had to download some data from my server to your computer. Now, you may have it set to clean up after you, but even if it cleans up the contents of this page after you exit, that data will remain, in some amount, for someone who would have the tools to mine it off your computer.
So, let’s take that thought; electricity is so powerful that It remains behind to some degree in everything it touches. Electronics wear out. Light-bulbs burn out. And computers retain large amounts of data even after they’ve been wiped. So, as we think about this, remember that everything in our world reveals something about the creator, whether created by man or by God. Electricity is an interesting force because it also reveals the power of God, not explicitly, but as a revelatory force.
Here we have electricity in our world: We create it through massive generators powered by water, steam, gasoline, etc. We create generators that can produce massive amounts of electricity which can be stored, can be sold, can be purchase, and can be used to power many different devices. We then manufacture devices that run on electricity, and through them, we are able to do countless activities that, otherwise, would not be even remotely possible.
Take, for example, the fact that you are reading this, whether on a phone, tablet, PC, or Mac. You are reading this on an electronic device, and I am able to share my thoughts to you through an electronic device. All of this is possible because of the power of electricity. Without it, I’d have to hand-write or mechanically print these posts and get them carried to you on some other medium that would be much more difficult and limited.
We have command and control, to some degree, over electricity. This is very much like how we as human beings exist in our world. We have power and consideration over our choices. We can decide to go to the grocery store or go to a bar. We can decide to go to church or go to a seedy establishment. And we are even, as science tells us, a type of electrical generators. We take the matter we consume (food, water, other liquids, etc.) and turn it into electrical power which powers our brains, conveys signals to our muscles and so forth.
Electricity is not confined to our generators but occurs naturally in the forms such as static electricity or powerfully in the form of lightning. Just think about the last time someone shuffled their feet across a floor and touched you; it hurt, right? Imagine the electrical storms that happen in many parts of the US. When lightning strikes someone, even if it does not kill them, it leaves a mark. We can’t even manage to generate the same amount of electricity in a single bolt of lightning, but it happens naturally.
In the same way that we generate electricity to power an electrical world but natural electricity occurs via lightning and such, we also generate a degree of electricity ourselves, but God is an even greater power source for us.
When we plug something into the wall, it is able to do so much. If it is able to handle additional power, it could do more. But if the power provided to it was insufficient, it is “under-powered” and cannot do its intended job. In the same way, if we take an item that is intended to be used on the US power grid, and we try to plug it into a European power grid, presuming the plugs were right, without an adaptor, that device would be over powered and fry. Why? Because it is not submitting to the power it is being given. The device was designed expecting so much power and too much power causes it to overload because it can’t submit to the power. (This is not a free-will/predestination argument, so please don’t take the analogy too far. Just roll with me.)
In a similar way, if we are not submitted to God, not standing within Christ, we fry in the presence of God because His justice could not be restrained against our sin. In this place, we are not functioning as we were designed and are running in an under-powered state. But when we submit ourselves to Christ’s Lordship, through accepting His sacrifice in our place, we can receive His power in our lives, enabling us to do as He has always desired of us.
Everyone in this world seems to want to make a difference, or at least, most do. I’ve often heard Ghandi’s quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” But just as the human-created power only goes so far (without the use of substations and such to boost the power), so our human efforts can only go so far, usually insufficiently. On the other hand, lightning can strike miles apart with the same deadly force in each direction. Lightning does not need a substation or a boost, but is naturally occurring. Similarly, God’s power, worked out through our submission, can move the world!
When we give our lives over to Jesus, and allow Him to transform us into His image, we get the privilege to have God work through us, living in the intended, constant communion with God. We are then enabled to bless others through the blessings He gives to us.
Noodle on that, will ya?
Vires et Honorem
1 Corinthians 15:10