Thursday, May 10, 2012
Connecting Dots : Google Robot Car, Journey, & Kingdom...
I'm always looking to connect dots. On Tuesday I read THIS, an article about Google's first ROBOT CAR being licensed in NV. The technology behind the new Google Robot Car allows for safe navigation to one's destination.
Once you get past the cool sci-fi images in your head (think The Jetson's, Total Recall, iRobot, Minority Report, etc.), you have a new way to travel: safe and destination-bound. Its an instant gratifying mode of transportation that eliminates the white-knuckles and attention that's required of driving, right?
But like a lot of technology (and I LOVE innovative technology!) we're working towards instant gratification - in this case destination.
Here's a few other totally random examples (and I'm really trying not to demonize any of these, but rather just point out how we're a culture of "destination.")
Facebook - when you lack true visceral community, it provides a virtual destination
Discovery/Travel Channel - I have actually heard people argue, that they don't really need to travel anymore, because they can just watch Discovery or the Travel Channel
RockBand - when you don't have the motivation, time, or finances to learn to play an instrument or take the lessons, you can simply strap on the 5 color guitar and wail away on your favorite Zepplin tunes!
Pornography - sexual intimacy without the relationship
The common missing factor I see in each of these, is the journey. Relationships take time, energy, pain(s), and effort. Travel requires planning, money, learning new languages and cultures, and potential dangers(s). And intimacy requires a great deal of relationship, trust, and vulnerability. These are all hazards of the journey.
Now going back to the Google Robot Car, we literally eliminate the journey. Where I used to dread the night drive in the rain, the white-knuckled journey up a snowy pass in Colorado to get to a music venue in time for sound check, or the navigation it would require to make it through a big city I'd never traveled before, I can now conceivably enter my destination coordinates, sit back, and enjoy a DVD on my iPad, or have a virtual conversation via Facebook.
But I have a feeling that I'll miss the adventure and the attention it requires to participate in the journey. I believe that it's in the journey that we really grow, and become who we were created to be.
The earth is an amazing place. I believe that in this earth, the Kingdom of God is breaking-in all around us, and I'd hate to miss it, because I simply phoned in my coordinates. (Ah-ha, another dot being connected)
The journey is one reason I refuse to sing "I'll Fly Away" anymore. It's a song about leaving, being gone, hoping for the destination, and not embracing the kingdom-journey, here, now, and today. There's harm in destination language, without being coupled with the trials of the journey.
And that, my friends is why I enjoy connecting dots.