In the year 2018, there are four essential requirements for the survival of humanity: food, water, shelter, and Wi-Fi. This is a bad “First World” joke of course, but in the realm of information technology (IT) support this doesn’t feel too far off the reservation.
Over the last 14-16 months or so, my IT team has been in the process of rehabilitating an old network infrastructure in a large school building that our church has recently relocated to. A few small items remain for completion before the network will be restored to 100%. However, even at 20% one of the first orders of business we took care of was to bring up enough of the network to activate a few wireless access points (AP’s…aka Hotspots), so that our users could connect their mobile devices to the Internet. Due to poor cellular signal inside the building it was imperative that our staff members be able to continue working, even during construction. Without at least one access point there would be no communication with the outside world.
Access Points, Firewalls, Switches, and Networks in general have been an integral part of my life for the last 17 years, but until the recent restoration project I have never really considered the significance of how wireless devices must interact with the network in order to have a pathway to the Internet. It has always simply been a process or method. Neither had I considered the similarities we have with those devices when it comes to our relationship with God.
To most people, WiFi is a glorious mystery. They don’t care how it works, they just know when it doesn’t. Without geeking out or risking reader disconnect, I just want to provide a simplistic overview of how your wireless device is able to find it’s way to the Internet. Every networkable device, whether, printer, computer, or phone has a unique identifier (a combination of 12 letters and numbers) associated with it called a MAC address that serves as it’s sort of finger print. No other device will ever be created with the same combination of characters.
My job as a Systems Administrator is to configure the Wireless Access Points and strategically place them on the physical network in a variety places throughout the building. If you get close enough to one of these Hotspots you will find that it is already there broadcasting itself, it’s sending out an invitation for connection. Some networks require a password, some are open, and some require that you pay per hour. What happens when you successfully connect using one of these methods, is that your device is then qualified, registered, supplied an address, and given access to whatever the Administrator has determined, which is usually at least a pathway to the Internet. The AP’s are typically able to communicate with all sorts of wireless devices regardless of type, make, model, printer, laptop, Android, iPhone, cheap, expensive, etc. If accepted, all devices gain access to the same Internet.
If you aren’t picking up what I’m laying down here, this is basically it… We are a unique people, we are not ordinary, but special. There is no one exactly like you or me and there will never be. What I find to be amazing is that God, through His infinite grace, is always broadcasting. He is always sending out an invitation for connection. You don’t even have to walk around and try to find Him. His proximity is wherever we are. The Divine Administrator has provided His son Jesus as THE access point by which we are able to obtain access to Father. It doesn’t matter whether you feel qualified or not. It doesn’t matter your background, where you came from, or what you’ve done. He has given us all access. The best news is that there is no password. All that is required is that we accept the “Terms Agreement” which says, “Yes, I surrender my life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ”. At that moment, all qualifications are met and full access is given. We now have the ability to commune with The One who holds the galaxies in the palm of His hand.
My prayer is that you and I would remember this every time we connect to a wireless network and remember to spend time with The Lord. He is always broadcasting.