On Being Connected

“An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered;

an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.”1

I like this quote from Chesterton, and years of camping, hiking and traveling have taught me the utility of this outlook. That being said, I have found that it is the little inconveniences that are hard to make fit this paradigm. Sleeping in a tent? Sure. Running in the rain? One of life’s little joys. Fighting with hotel thermostats? Not so much.

Late this summer I spent a lot of time in hotel rooms as I traveled for work. To the right is my “window seat” on a flight from Dallas to San Antonio. (Why did they even bother installing a window? Do I need to see the engine?) Travel also means dealing with hotel wi-fi networks. At least everywhere I stayed had free wi-fi. (I’ll spare you my rant on that pet peeve here.) But, I still found it frustrating.

At home, my network is saved on all my devices. I turn them on, they are connected. The typical hotel experience involves having to go to your browser, convince it to go to the login page, and enter a username and password. Every time. It always seems more challenging on a small device like a cell phone.

Having recently made the jump to a “smart” phone under intense pressure from my kids, I discovered that if I had logged onto a network once, it would be “saved” in my phone. The only really useful thing for a network is to be connected, however.

I soon found myself saying out loud to my phone as I did the digital dance of trying to connect, “I don’t want to be saved, I want to be connected!” It only took me about three times of hearing myself say that before I started mulling over the theological implications of such a statement.

It is nice that my phone saves networks. That function allows it to auto-connect at home. But it is not the full functionality that makes the phone really useful. Who wants to travel around and just catalog wi-fi network names?

We too, are made for more. Being “saved” is great. I am thankful that by Christ’s death atoned for my sins. But the New Testament has many references that indicate there is more to life that that.

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. (Philippians 3:8)

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. (John 15:4)

And now little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. (1 John 2:28)

May our Lord never look upon us and say, “I came that you might be connected, that you may know me and walk with me and follow me, not just to save you.

1G. K.. Chesterton, “On Running After Ones Hat”, All Things Considered, 1908


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