Our internet is capped.
For the majority of my family and friends in the States, I bet this is a foreign concept.
Capped internet means that we have only a specific amount of internet that we are allotted each month. We pay for a certain amount of internet time. As a result, John, the boys, and I have to consider the costs of our internet usage every day. Streaming, Facebook video clips, sports highlights, downloads, and more are extremely limited in the Witherow house. If even one of us goes off and streams a whole lotta stuff in what would seem a short period of time, it affects the internet usage of the entire family. Since John and I use our computers and the internet as primary communication tools, we need our boys to show self control and good decision-making in their internet usage.
In some ways, having our internet capped is a blessing. As I shared, every single member of our family must consider the value and the cost of what we choose to view on the internet. It’s almost like an enforced limitation or boundary on the amount of internet we use. In other ways, capped internet is a pain. It prevents us from seeing things we’d like; family and friends’ videos, sports highlights, and/or streaming something fun.
Since today is the last day of the month, our internet is almost used up. Jake didn’t like to hear that and grew frustrated. He complained that he wanted the internet to be 100% all the time.
Who can blame him?
Isn’t that what we would like about every physical thing we consume? We want our cars to work when we turn the key in the ignition. We want our appliances to do their mixing, washing, drying, and freezing. We want our computers to run without complication. We enjoy their benefits and would prefer nothing ever to stop working or be used up, right?
So this morning, I sat Jake down. I explained that our internet supply is like a tub of vanilla ice cream. We buy ice cream about once a week. We scoop out the ice cream and put a certain amount in the boys’ bowls as a dessert treat once a day or so. Once that amount of ice cream is consumed, it’s gone. We can’t get it back. What we can do is return to the ice cream shop to purchase a new tub the following week. Our daily internet usage is just like a serving of ice cream. However, instead of buying a new tub of ice cream once a week, we are allocated a new amount of internet once a month.
Jake didn’t really appreciate the comparison. He still wanted to do whatever he wanted on the internet and have internet availability be 100%. I can’t say I blame him. In our South African life though, it just doesn’t work that way. For now, capped internet usage is our reality.
This real-life scenario popped into my mind again when I read these words this morning in my Colossians study:
“For in Christ, all the fullness of the Deity live in bodily form, as you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and every authority” (New International Version, Colossians 2:9-10).
I immediately thought, “Unlike our internet, in Christ, we are uncapped!”
In Christ, as temples of the living God, we are inhabited by the fullness of God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit! He is like the tub of ice cream that never goes empty! We can enjoy the taste of his Spirit every day. He is like the internet amount that never, ever will be used up! He never leaves us, fails us, or forsakes us! In Christ, we have no limits put on us in how we experience his Presence!
Unless, we cap ourselves, of course.
What do I mean?
Well, our God is always present with us and always available to us. However, His Presence and His power, His love and His grace will manifest in our lives the most consistently and the most often when our hearts are turned towards Him through our conscious recognition, hunger, desire, and praise of Him. Just going through the procedures of turning on the computer and accessing the internet doesn’t necessarily mean it will work. In the same way, just going through the disciplines of bible study, prayer and worship, doesn’t mean we’re filled up by the fullness of God. Sure, it helps. However, just as you and I are drawn towards others who demonstrate their love and devotion to us, our God is drawn towards the same heart devotion. When we’re just going through the motions and expect God to do His thing for us, we’re capping ourselves. We are limiting ourselves to experiencing our God, our Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to our level of expectation, understanding and need.
There is more to a life in Christ than that! A life in Christ is uncapped! It is beyond our expectations and beyond our understanding.
How do we experience the uncapped life? It begins with a heart of love, devotion and praise. When our hearts are open to His Presence and His purposes, He comes and fills us up beyond that 100% point. He fills us up so that we overflow with His mercies, love and grace with thanksgiving and praise! The fullness of His Deity manifest themselves in the uncapped life of a follower of Christ who chooses Him above all things.
Photo by Mig Reyes of Flickr