First World Problems

Posted by Scott Foster on

I know you run into this all the time. We get so dependent on what is now infrastructure. The internet of things. Smartphones. Smart speakers. Apple TV. Alexa. Siri.

Most everybody knows that we love pop culture and everything about it. Becky is a rabid fan of Big Brother, The Real Housewives, all things Kardashian, and Watch What Happens Live! In fact, Emily was in town this week, so she and Becky went into the city on Monday to be in the audience for Andy Cohen—they were perfectly giddy all day!

My tastes run a little darker. And, it’s been a good run for me these past few weeks: Orange Is the New Black, Ozark, Wentworth, Jack Ryan (this is great), Fauda, Castle Rock, and Shameless is back!

And if most or all of those references are lost on you, don’t worry. You’ll run into the problem at some point no matter what. Without the infrastructure and the internet of things, all that would pretty much go away. And we don’t think about it at all until it does go away.

It’s just there.
Until it isn’t.

Remember the last time you misplaced your cell phone?

It’s all right—I understand.

Here are some more dated examples of technology.

Last week, there was a power surge created by a faulty transformer in the neighborhood. We lost power at the church, but not completely.

Remember that Webb was built in 1888, the Parish House in 1929, Sanctuary in 1953. Since everything in the PCM physical plant came up in stages, so it goes with the utilities as well. As far as PSE&G is concerned, we have 3 different feeds into the church building.

Last Thursday night, it was worship team rehearsal time. Musicians, singers, everybody here to get ready for Rally Day. The power failed in the Parish House and Webb and left us with only one bank of lights in Webb chapel burning, the blowers were working blowing hot air (remember how oppressively hot it was last week?) but not the AC compressors. It was perfectly weird.

 And not only that, because of the construction in the Fellowship Hall kitchen, they used a saw made for concrete to cut big ruts in the slab to make room for new drainage, plumbing, and power lines. Those saws have no judgment at all because they just cut right through everything in their paths—including live plumbing lines that feed the rest of the building!

Hello? No running water in the parlor kitchen for several weeks. No hot water anywhere in the Parish House.

Sure, it’s old technology—but now it’s infrastructure. We depend on it. When it works, we don’t even notice it. We don’t even think about it because it just works.

Until it doesn’t.

Even so, God—however you see God: as Almighty, as Jesus Christ, as the Holy Spirit. God is like infrastructure.

And God is like gravity. God never takes a day off. Not ever.

Though most of the time we don’t notice. We don’t pay attention. We’re too wrapped up in our first world problems to see, feel, even experience God.

Most of the time, we don’t think about it because it’s infrastructure and it just works.

Oswald Chambers is famous for saying: “To say that ‘prayer changes things’ is not as close to the truth as saying, ‘Prayer changes me and then I change things.’

It just works. But then life change comes…when we least expect it. We forget about the infrastructure until amazing things happen. Change happens.

And most of the time we’re so wrapped up in our first world problems that we don’t even notice.

Until we do.

Grace and Peace,


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