For some folks, the “instant acccess” era in which we find ourselves is breath-taking. Perhaps I’m generalizing when I say that this current generation feeds off of the instant availability of news and information, because many of us find it incredible that we can type one word into a computer and get definitions, pictures, and more right at our fingertips without driving to the old public library. And for many people, this access is right on their phones as well. Amazing to those of us who lived before the internet (was there life before the internet?). But this is a common expectation for the youth of today.
Some of this “instant access” gives up the checking of details to make sure that what we are getting is the full story. Just ask Shirley Sherrod, who worked for the USDA. A partial video clip of her speaking about a former attitude towards caucasians (without the rest of her testimony being shown, where the Lord changed her heart), caused her employer to move to fire her. See the full story here – http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,597263,00.html.
There is also the case more recently of a woman who was allegedly fired for ripping her boss on Facebook. In today’s culture it is commonly accepted that I can voice my feelings on-line, and that they are mine so this makes them valid, no matter who is the recipient of my venting. This may not always be the case, as this woman found out. This case is being taken up by the NLRB (see the story here – http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2372465,00.asp).
But sometimes this “instant access” can be used for the good. Go figure, that our God would use the foolish things of the world to shame the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27). Here is a “feel good” redemption story: an Ohio man was panhandling using his distinct voice and background as a broadcast announcer to leverage better handouts along the highway. But then thanks to a viral video shot posted on “YouTube” this homeless man is receiving job offers and other amazing opportunities. See the story here – http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/40944077/ns/today-today_people/.
This gentleman has truly been humbled through his circumstances, but thanks the Lord for His kindness in giving him a second chance. A quote from the referenced article: [Panhandler] Williams also gave thanks to his higher power in his earlier segment with Lauer and Vieira [TODAY show hosts]: “The difference between my successes of years gone by is that I didn’t acknowledge the Lord or thank him for anything before,” he told them. “This time around, I have God in my life, acknowledging him on a daily basis. I’ve found a new sense of spirituality now.”
I hope that, like Nebuchadnezzar, this amazing work of God will keep our Brother on a path where he can point others to the fact that God does not forget, and that in God’s economy there is always another opportunity. God can use this “instant access” to bring quick redemption, as in the case of this formerly homeless and jobless panhandler. I pray that this Brother in Christ may be like David, who said after his forgiveness and deliverance, “Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you” (Psalm 51:13). That is my daily prayer for my redemptive story as well.