#566: A Faster Connection

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Reflections by the Pond
August 27, 2012

I always marvel at those who get impatient with the supposedly slow or unreliable speed of their Internet connection.

Speaking as one who hearkens all the way back to monochromatic computers with floppy disc drives (I mean those large, literally floppy discs) and no hard drive—computers in which you ran a program not by clicking on an icon but by typing its name on a command line, then waited while the floppy whirred slowly—I don't see what all the fuss is about.

I mean, just think about it: We recently upgraded to a faster satellite service (living out in the sticks, that or a phone line is the extent of our options), graduating to a vastly superior speed. So let's just say I want to visit a web site that lives, physically, on a server in Moscow, which is somewhere around 5,000 miles from Iowa as the crow flies (over the pole). I click on the link, which sends the request first to my router, then to my modem, then to the dish sitting on my roof. From my roof the request shoots 22,000 miles into space to a satellite in geosynchronous orbit. In turn the satellite relays the request to a land-based gateway located somewhere in the United States which passes on the request, by a roundabout path (which may involve another satellite or two), to a server in Moscow. To then fulfill the request to my computer screen in Iowa, the Russian server takes the same circuitous path in reverse.

And I should complain if it takes a few seconds?

Normally that process takes something less than a second or two, but that assumes that every step along the way is working perfectly. If not—let's say that server in Moscow is having a bad day—the request might take five or ten seconds instead of one or two.

Considering the distances and myriad components involved, I marvel that it works at all!

° ° °

We may be impressed by our modern digital technology, but permit me to recommend a demonstrably superior technology that has been around for quite a few years.

And it came about in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes [c.440 BC] that wine was before him, and I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. So the king said to me, "Why is your face sad though you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart." Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, "Let the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers' tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?" Then the king said to me, "What would you request?" So I prayed to the God of heaven. I said to the king, "If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' tombs, that I may rebuild it."

Nehemiah 2:1-5

Nehemiah, servant of the Persian king Artaxerxes, was literally risking his life just by showing sadness in the king's presence. So we can be confident that when the king gave him his opportunity with, "What would you request?" he did not keep his master waiting long while he prayed to "the God of heaven." Yet in that one brief moment—perhaps no longer than a sigh—God replied. Just like that. In that moment Nehemiah had his answer, so he said, "Send me to Judah."

Our God is so far distant from this temporal world that traveling aboard the fastest space vehicle we would not reach His dwelling in our lifetime. Yet by means of prayer we are with Him in an instant. Immediately.

No optical fiber, no cable connection, no satellite uplink is faster or more convenient than the Holy Spirit, who dwells within every believer. He—and He alone—is our direct link to the very mind of God.

For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

1 Corinthians 2:10-13