My 11-year-old daughter recently surprised me. We had reached an impasse in our discussion when she suddenly piped up very assuredly: “Let’s just google it!” Argument solved, case closed. I suddenly realized that here is a generation whose final authority is a technology conglomerate located in Mountain View, California.
This exchange made me wonder, Are there things we cannot google? Before you answer too quickly, just think for a moment. Most of the information that we learned while in school can be googled within milliseconds. Not too sure about the sequence of moons around the sun? What is pi and why do we use it in math? When exactly did Caligula or Constantine (or any other historical figure) live?
The other day I wanted to install a seat cover in my car. I struggled to get the back seat covered. You know what I did? I went to Google and asked about it. Within seconds I had a number of videos showing me how to install a seat cover on my particular model. One or two generations ago I would have, most likely, called my father or visited a car dealership.
So is there anything beyond facts and how-to guides that Google cannot give me? For some, Christianity is just that—compelling facts and clear how-to guides. And yet that does not seem to capture the essence of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Scripture emphasizes the importance of faith, so I quickly googled “faith.” I got definitions, even some Bible texts, and some merchandise suggestions from Amazon. However, that did not really build my faith.
Faith grows when we face the unknown. Faith increases when we walk together through the valley of the shadow of death and hang on to Jesus. That’s where faith is built—and that’s one thing we cannot google.