Curious about Quantum Computers, AI or other new tech? Let’s explore the potential impact of a few of today’s most amazing technology advances on life a few years from now. Below is a short story, based on some simple parameters:
- Setting: Four years from now, late 2022 (yet grounded in current developments)
- Focus: “Kingdom living impact” — life for followers of Jesus, around the world.
- Surface: No deep-dive tech. This is a “blog post” not a novel 🙂
Please let us know what you think.
Let’s step into late 2022, as future-friend “Joe” strikes up a conversation…
Walking in Peace
“What’s with you? No matter what happens in the world around us, you seem at peace. Not exactly happy about the violence and upheaval… yet nothing perturbs you!” said my friend Joe.
“Thanks for noticing, Joe!” I said. “The breakdown of ‘mainstream society’ today is nothing new. It was predicted a couple thousand years ago in the Bible. I’ve been preparing for a long time.”
Joe wasn’t satisfied, “but how can you be so peaceful? Our every move is monitored today, whether by the street cams, the car sensors, IoT ‘net-connected stuff planted in every appliance and room of every building!”
“It’s actually quite simple,” I said, “although most people won’t believe what I’m about to say: my life is not driven by all the data and sensors, nor by the tensions of the people around me. My most important information, and my most important relationship, is my connection to the one source that can’t possibly be controlled or affected by any of this. It’s God. God is real–you know the story of how he healed me long ago–and many other real world stories. None of what’s happening today is a surprise to God.”
“Oh c’mon,” he retorted. “The Bible and all that stuff is perfectly fine in theory, and I do love the worship music in church, but let’s get real! What insight can you possibly get from that ancient book about invasions of privacy, or insidious political shenanigans?!!”
I responded with a bit of a smile, “Do you think Jesus entered some kind of peaches-and-cream world without violence or politics? How about David, or Jeremiah, or Samuel, the kid who grew up separated from his mom, or—”
“Ok, ok! I get it! But still, you won’t find any mention of GPU-based AI, or Quantum algorithms for cracking security hashes in there.”
“That’s true, yet God’s principles are timeless, and even better the most important one is to look to God for insight and direction all the time! That’s what Prov 3:5-8 is all about.”
“All the time!” Joe exclaimed, “how can you be paying attention to God all the time and still get anything done?”
“That could take some time to explain,” I replied. “But it’s quite doable. And it is the most important part of the answer to your question about how I can live with joy and peace and love in today’s world. I’ve been learning to look at it all through the eyes of God who loves us all, and even better through his incredible special knowledge resource, that’s better than any smart tech anyone can possibly invent, ever.”
Joe’s eyes bugged out a little. “Woah. That’s an amazing claim! You say God has the jump on the most advanced R&D labs on the planet?!”
I stifled a laugh, “I sure hope so! He is God after all. How did you think we in the Kingdom technology biz have made so much progress?! For a number of years, friends of ours have been creating incredible new technologies, literally guided by God through prayer.”
“Joe, I’ll let you in on a simple ‘secret’ that’s actually not so secret: prayer is not just a bunch of words we make up to appease some invisible genie from the past. Prayer is a conversation, sometimes in a group and sometimes personal and intimate, with the actual all-powerful maker of the whole universe. And the most important part of prayer isn’t when we’re talking, it’s when we’re listening.”
I continued, “I’ll give you two general categories where that’s important, with specific examples. OK?”
Joe was intrigued, “Sure!”
Truly Good Communication — grounded in love
“Joe, first of all, you know how bad these smart AI ‘bots’ are?”
“I sure do!” He replied, “They’re only as good, only as unbiased, only as selfless, as the people who train them. And most people are actually a little selfish or greedy or whatever at heart.”
I responded with a sad smile. “Exactly. That’s why one of our SLTy (Spirit-Led Technology) principles, followed by SLTy R&D teams, is that the most advanced technologies can only get a truly good result to the extent they are designed to be dependent on one or more human operators in the middle of the system: operators who are mature followers of Jesus, listening to God’s special knowledge resource and quickly following through. In other words, people who are listening pray-ers.”
I continued, “the results of that are incredible. In fact, our best partners have incorporated this into their advanced engineering R&D processes: it’s all actually being guided by God, at least to the extent we’re able to understand what he’s saying and are willing to follow his lead.”
“But what does that mean in practice?” he queried.
“Glad you asked, and I’ll make this quick. As a direct result of SLTy R&D projects, Christ followers around the world, right now in 2022, have access to truly good advanced technology engines, mostly in the cloud. We now have systems that enable a person to live anywhere in the world, and have inspired help understanding and communicating in the local language… no matter what language that may be. Once a new language is learned — and it’s only a matter of hours or days once we recruit a few local helpers, we can communicate God’s good news of his love in writing, by speaking, even using sign language with the deaf, with the help of the new tools.”
“That’s amazing!” Joe gushed.
“Yes, and it gets better! We can use these systems for almost any kind of business, education, and more. We’ve also been able to integrate this with the advanced geodata (mapping and analysis) technology of another high tech partner. Using those tools as well, we’re now able to get a pretty good sense of what’s been happening in the past, and where the real needs are today–not just physical tangible needs–but as we let God guide our understanding of all of this, we gain real insight into opportunities and outcomes, i.e. what is actually happening out there.”
Joe was quiet. “That kind of insight sounds very helpful. It sounds way better than the anger and fear I hear all the time from others.”
“Yes it does,” I responded. “And now you know a little more of why I walk around with joy and confidence and peace, even though the world really is going to hell in a hand basket, as my grandma used to say.”
“I only have a couple more minutes,” he replied. “What’s the other example?”
Connections of Love
“You know how people are easily distracted and misled not just by the propaganda being spewed out by the news and social media, but even by other people we know, even family members and others we’ve known for a long time?”
“Yeah,” he replied, “everyone has terrifying examples. It’s destroyed people’s ability to trust one another.”
“Yep,” I agreed, “Sometimes I too can be fooled, but only to the extent that I’ve still got a long way to go in learning to listen and follow God’s perfect leading without question.”
“So, here’s how that works: any of us can be fooled, humanly-speaking. But God knows what’s real. To the extent each of us pays attention to him, and immediately trusts his guidance, we will connect with those we should and be cautious where caution is needed.”
Joe looked more than a little skeptical, “that sounds… different. I never thought about paying that much attention to God. Almost sounds like you’re saying God can untangle the mess of today’s crazy messaging.”
“Joe, literally we cannot be misled to the extent we let God guide us! This is straight from the Bible: the difference between Joshua and the Gibeonites vs Peter and Ananias and Sapphira. Peter listened to God’s Holy Spirit and Joshua didn’t. The Holy Spirit is just our name for that part of God available to come alongside us all the time with special insight, comfort and more.”
“So here’s a very recent example,” I said, “and I’ll make it short: I sensed a need to reconnect with a friend from long ago, with whom I had not had contact in many years. He hadn’t replied to any emails or voice messages in…forever. We were truly disconnected.”
“So that made what I sensed God telling me to do even more ridiculous, humanly speaking: all I knew was I needed to visit my daughter near Seattle, take three hours early one morning to drive and ride on a ferry to get to his home before anyone would be awake, and leave a note on his door. No, not mailed — it had to be a note on the door. To make this ‘connection’ even more silly, he wasn’t even there: another friend of his (who did respond to me) said he was in Hawaii with family for several weeks. No way would I see him.”
Joe was more than a little confused, “and somehow going to all that hassle for no reason was going to be some kind of good connection with your friend, and I guess a ‘virtual hug?'”
“You’ve got it,” I smiled, “pretty crazy, right?”
“OK I have to know, what happened?!”
“To make a long story short,” I continued, “I got to Seattle on Monday night. Did everything I planned starting at 3:30am Tuesday. Got to the house in the dark, left a note, got scared because a light turned on — I was thinking some caretaker thinks they’re being robbed, or something. I went to a cafe until light, came back… and spent five hours with my friend who had actually returned from Hawaii late the night before!”
“What?!! How did THAT happen,” Joe was understandably amazed, so I filled in the blanks.
“Apparently, mid-day on Monday, he and his wife looked at each other, decided they were done with Hawaii and needed to go home right away, cutting their vacation short. So they changed their tickets, flew home and got in late Monday night. Nobody knew they were there… but God did and had it all planned out. Better than any calendar app, I’m telling you :)”
Joe was stunned. “OK, that’s a great example. And you say this happens a lot?”
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