It was Michael Jackson–along with his childhood friend and one-hit wonder Rockwell–who sang almost 40 years ago, that “I always feel like somebody’s watching me.” And these days, most of us can identify.
Turn on the evening news, or browse through social media sites and you’ll figure out pretty quickly that there are security cameras everywhere, watching our every move. It helps in catching the bad guys, and in capturing some funny moments sometimes, but it’s also more than a little disconcerting to know that there’s hardly a place in our public world where you are not in view of someone’s camera.
But I’m not just talking about security cameras in public areas, it is getting more and more evident that we are being watched closely by technology even inside our “private” homes. I hear people mention almost weekly that they were talking about a particular subject, only to see ads show up on their social media accounts directly addressing what they were talking about. And if you let Alexa and her friends listen in to your daily life at home, you can be assured that they are keeping up with every conversation–and putting together a profile of your preferences, needs, likes and dislikes.
Of course, we’ve given permission to each of those apps and platforms on our phone or computer to have access to so much of our private lives, even if we don’t read those privacy settings we sign off on. It’s all justified as “smart advertising,” but I think Orwell understood it better when he prophetically referred to it as “Big Brother.” Either way, it makes you wonder how much farther technology will take us, and how little privacy we’ll be left with in the end.
But the reality is, even without smart phones and security video, we are being watched, and listened to, and we have been all along. Scripture reminds us that there is no place we can go, and nothing that we do–or even think–that God is not aware of. He is watching.
“O LORD, you have searched me and you know me,” David wrote in Psalm 139. “You know when I sit down and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar….Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence?…If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You.”
This is not to say that God is lurking behind every corner, trying to catch you doing something bad. But it does remind us that there’s nothing we do that is not in full view of God. May the Lord who shines His light into our darkness be pleased with the lives we are living for Him this week.
I am praying for you, as I hope you are for me, and I look forward to seeing you Sunday.