I didn’t plan on becoming a user. It just sort of happened. As a seedling tree reaches for the sky to fight for spots of daylight amongst a field full of mature trees, my small experimental participation didn’t seem significant when compared to the thousands of other users in the world. I would hardly be noticed….
Little did I know the trap that was set before me as experimentation gave forth to desire. A desire to use even more and a desire to interact with others who shared my illness. The subculture of users was more wide spread than a virus, and I wanted to know more and more of these people and share in their addiction. I found great peace in knowing many of my friends were also users, which meant I was not alone in my illness. Despite it all though, I fear I will never be able to quit. There is simply too much pressure…
Experimenting daily with my new on-line friend Facebook, I am instantly connected to a community of friends and colleagues from around the world. I am reminded everyday that I don’t have nearly as many friends as everyone else does. I am also amazed at the interconnectedness of everyone I know and the rate at which information flows around the earth… “Tim is writing a blog
A research study completed in 2006 by Microsoft Research and Carnegie Mellon University analyzed 30 billion conversations among 240 million people using Microsoft Instant Messenger and found the degree of separation, among the all the users probed was 6.6. (
ftp://ftp.research.microsoft.com/pub/tr/TR-2006-186.pdf) Kevin Bacon would be glad to know the game named after him is based in some scientific fact. If only he would join my Facebook page….hmmmm…I know Josh, who knows Denzel Washington who knows Kevin Bacon how?….
The list of networking sites has evolved over time, but right now it looks like Linked-in, Facebook and Twitter are all the rage. All of these sites bring back home the point that all the people on this planet are more connected than we have ever been. Linked-in will actually show you a map of how to meet that one person you want to know and how you are connected to them.
While modern technology has made it easier to visualize the link between us all, the Bible itself went through great lengths to record the lineage of people and record the connectedness of the human race. There have been countless scientific studies which take the whole human race back to a single seed. Admitting an Adam and Eve scenario is difficult for the bearded scientists to admit to, but believing that we are all from the same place is not I guess. It’s beautiful to think about.
Pondering the web of humanity I started to think about God’s role in it all. How many degrees of separation do we have between us and God? How many degrees of separation between God and the unbelievers in society? The obvious answer is “1” when you think about God being there for everyone at anytime, whether you are a believer or not.
I think a more realistic answer for the majority of the Western world is “two”. There tends to be a barrier between us and God most of the time. My friend knows that I pray to God and asked me to pray for her mother. My other friend knows a religious fanatic, and wants nothing to do with God, and yet another friend of mine is a catholic who prays through a saint or confesses through a priest in order to commune with God.
Sometimes I think God is more like “Tom” on myspace who is everyone’s friend, but nobody really knows Him or if He is real.
Is this where God wants to be?
I often wonder how much different the world would be if we realized that God truly was one degree away. None of my Facebook contacts really matter at that point as the God of the universe wants to be my best friend. And think about this….your degree of separation to anyone who lives or has ever lived is “two”. You are directly connected to everyone on earth through God. If you believe that we are the offspring of God’s creation, not only are we connected to everyone on earth, but we are also related to everyone on earth.
Does this make you want to treat your boss differently? How about that starving child in Uganda? What about that guy that just gave you the bird on the freeway? He is God’s friend and creation too…..
As I continue to join the millions in the on-line network they call Facebook, my hope and prayer is that I can be a representative and reflection of my Friend that outshines the rest. I hope that the millions of believers on this planet can infiltrate the vast network of connections, and bring His light to a dark world. Ultimately my prayer is that everyone would realize that God is only on degree away from bringing healing their souls and those around them.