Here’s an interesting question…”What would Google say?”
Are you familiar with Google AutoComplete? (How many consecutive questions have I asked? 7…wait that make 8.) Basically, you go to google.com and type in the terms of your search, and they suggest, based on what others have searched for, likely search results. (You could start with “why do I,” or, Nah, you can come up with your own ideas…but you could kill a couple of hours doing this.)
Yesterday I was searching for a blog post written by a certain pastor…he’s not someone I know (although we met briefly a few years ago.) And while I’m not a huge fan of his blog, which I just started reading recently, he often links to some interesting people.
Since I do my blog reading on my iPad, and I didn’t know how to spell his name…I was searching for the guy’s blog on my laptop. I typed the first name…got the first 3 letters of his last name, when Google AutoComplete kicked in…the first suggestion was the correct spelling of his name…the second suggestion was the correct spelling of his name, followed by the word “affair.” It felt like a punch in the gut…I hate when this happens.
Everything that is secret will be brought out into the open. Everything that is hidden will be uncovered. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight. What you have whispered to someone behind closed doors will be shouted from the rooftops.
Shouted from the rooftops…and Google.
I don’t think any of us would want that to be the one-word people think of. Yet I’ve met so many pastors who when you hear their name, that’s exactly the word that pops up…maybe not on Google, but in the minds of those who knew them.
Personally, I’ve never felt that I’m immune to something like that happening…in fact I always felt that if I wasn’t jealous, I’d be on that list. It is one of the many reasons, at the Ithaca Vineyard, we set up some pretty strict standards…ones that often got people to raise their eyes like I was crazy…(Not travelling alone…not being in a car with someone from the opposite sex unless you’re related to them…I should write a post on this eventually.)
They were a bit inconvenient at times…and maybe overkill…but knowing that “that” is not an issue Liz & I have to deal with…a small price to pay. And something I consider a gift to those who’ve worked on staff here.
When I first received my credentials with the Assemblies of God, they invite you to the district office for a tour, and give you piles and piles of paper. I have since lost all of it…& don’t remember what most of it was…All of it except a pink sheet of paper with an article written by Randy Alcorn in 1988 called “Consequences of a Moral Tumble. I have read through it so many times over the years…and 23 years later, I still can’t read it without coming close to crying.
I invite you to give it a read…I’d love to hear what you think.