As I write this, the Frazier family is entering its second week of life without the internet in our home. I would like to tell you that it hasn’t been a big deal, that our life hasn’t been impacted much by the unplanned and unresolved internet outage, but this would be a lie. The truth is, the struggle is very real.
The first few days, we cruised through. No big deal to be without Netflix for a few days and we had data on our cell phones so there wasn’t any real loss of connection to email, social media, and occasional internet browsing. I could tie in to my hotspot if work needed to be done at home. After all, the service call would happen in a few days and we’d be back in business.
Jump forward to today: the service call did happen, but there is still no internet. The technician told us on Wednesday afternoon that the problem was between us and the main box. He’d be going back and forth from our house to that location to fix the problem. “Great!” we said, thinking that this meant we’d be back in business soon. The tech even succeeded that evening to restore the connection. “It’s back!” we celebrated, with lots of emojis. But 30 minutes later, the lights turned red and the internet was gone again. The green lights haven’t returned since, and neither has the AT&T tech.
Today we sit with no internet AND no cellular data. You see, we don’t have an unlimited data plan (hasn’t been an issue for us up to this point) and a data binge by one of our family members (who shall remain nameless) has forced a shutdown of this internet portal as well. Again, I’m not going to lie to you, things are beginning to get a bit tense around here.
You see, our family loves the internet. We love Netflix, YouTube, and Twitter. We love email, Dropbox, and Google docs. These things make our hearts happy, so without them, well, our hearts are a bit sad.
As I sit here and ponder the state of my family’s hearts, I am struck by the implications of our love for this invisible kingdom of the internet. This kingdom that brings us knowledge, entertainment, connection, resources, wisdom, belonging, meaning and, let’s face it, joy. Does that kingdom sound familiar to you? Do you love a kingdom like this one?
This invisible kingdom that we call the internet brings us all these things, but it’s not real. It’s a counterfeit. This kingdom won’t last. This kingdom isn’t accessible to all. This kingdom has a dark side. This kingdom that holds our hearts will, sooner or later, only lead to heartache and disappointment.
The good news is that if the invisible kingdom of the internet is a counterfeit (an inferior copy of something better) there must be a superior reality. An invisible kingdom that brings us all knowledge, entertainment, connection, resources, wisdom, belonging, and meaning with no outages or overage charges. A kingdom that brings us complete joy without end. A kingdom with no hint of darkness. A kingdom that deserves our longings, affections, and desires. A kingdom that will never fail to bring us complete satisfaction.
My prayer for my family and for all of us is that the one true kingdom will be the object of our affections. That we will recognize other kingdoms for what they are: perhaps useful, but broken. That our ultimate affection will be for the one true God and that we will fully participate in his kingdom by extending this love for God to those he places around us.
He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” (Matt. 22:37-40)
Praise God, this invisible kingdom is available to all of us without a WI-FI connection and we don’t have to rely on an uncommunicative service provider to solve this connection issue for us. Our connection problem has been solved. We are hard wired into the system through the finished work of Christ. We have all that we need and more!
John: To the seven churches in Asia. Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has set us free from our sins by his blood, and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father—to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Rev 1:4-6)
May we all remember this truth the next time we are faced with a disappointment found in a counterfeit kingdom. Loving the internet may not be your struggle, but we all have a counterfeit kingdom that steals our affections. Which kingdom are you loving today?