Remote Sensing: Is that how we interact with God and People?

Remote Sensing: Is that how we interact with God and People? June 18, 2024
Earth Mapping through Remote Sensing | Unsplash

Remote Sensing

The science and practice of acquiring information about an object without actually coming into contact with it is termed as remote sensing. Used in numerous fields, it is actually the off-site acquisition of information about an object or phenomenon, and is in contrast to on-site observation.

The key idea here is without physical contact and from a distance. Today in many areas of our daily life we opt for and use the nuances of remote sensing, especially in the light of the past pandemic year.

Certain sectors such as defence, health care, manufacturing, law and order, governance, always need the physical presence of the person(s) to do the work with physical components in a physical location. This was true and actual even during covid!
Remote work mode | Unsplash

Work mode

Today, in the corporate work scenario and IT environment, new terms have become part of common work parlance. Terms such as off-site work (client is in a different country), on-site posting (being in the foreign location where the client is), offline work (working in an office that has a physical location), and online work (work using the internet), have become accepted part of work culture.

During the quarantine days of COVID, we added yet another dimension of work culture viz. working remotely from home as against functioning in an office space. Yet, even during those times, essential services still warranted the presence of a person or persons. Example, the medical field, police work, sanitation tasks, transport modes, food industries, banking sector, postal department, and other delivery services, had to function on-site, off-line, and in-person, physically and in a location.

Relations and relatives | Unsplash

Relationship mode

What about relationships and emotional well-being as well as psychological help? Can these be operated remotely or done without physical presence? Do they work when handled remotely and not in person? I don’t think so, except maybe as a one-time effort and/or in an emergency situation!

Can marriages work long-distance or much time apart, since ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’? Maybe for a short period of time, but without the intimacy and contact that physical presence brings, marriages can fall apart. The same holds true for other relationships, such as being parents, part of family, and having friends. These tend cool to off due to distance and gaps, which eventually will create chasms of separation that may not be bridged.

When God made man in His own image, He made him for contact, for emotional bonding and for relationship. God saw man’s need for companionship and provided him with a partner who was his equal in every way, in fact, ‘bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh’. The power of touch and daily interaction with another cannot be mitigated or shrugged off as inconsequential. God made man to connect with Himself and other human beings, so as to have a close relationship with Him, and others too.

Image by freepik
God and man in touch | Freepik

God’s relationship mode

God Himself showed the way and set the example to connect with man when He sought Adam and Eve in the cool of the day. He daily sought to have communion and communication with man, initiating and sustaining contact from day one. God demonstrated His love and His desire for their companionship, thus setting the tone and basis of relationships. He Who inhabited the heavenlies, a perfect universe of love and harmony, chose to carve out times with His creative masterpiece – man and woman.

From Gen 2 & 3 we see that God not only came looking for man in his good times but also in his bad time when he sinned! He drew him out of hiding, called him out on his sin, judged the sin, but still made way for contact. He covered man’s nakedness with the right clothing, and even in the curse that rendered judgement, He embedded the promise of a Redeemer who would win where they had lost!

When He had to drive man out from the garden because man sinned, God still time and again initiated contact, keeping in touch personally with people. He asked that a tabernacle, and later on a temple, be built. God gave instructions for these to be built in the pattern of heavenly things (Heb 8:5-6) so as to facilitate interaction. He did this to be near to His people, be available to them, and be able to speak to them. He ensured there would be a meeting place,  a communication portal in and through which He could reach out and speak to His people.

It is said in Acts 17:26-27: He created all the people of the world from one man, Adam, and scattered the nations across the face of the earth. He decided beforehand which should rise and fall, and when, besides determining their boundaries. His purpose in all of this was that they should seek after God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him – though he is not far from any one of us.

Therefore, we need to keep our relationship with God an ongoing one, seeking more than ever His presence and power. We can set in place the practice of delving deep into His word, develop a consistent scripture reading habit, take time to fast and pray, intercede and pray for our nation and other nations of this world. Let’s not waste time but develop the habit of securing our relationship with Him, daily!

Photo by <a href="">Desola Lanre-Ologun</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>
People and work mode | Unsplash

People’s Relationship Mode

So, what does this mean for our relationship with others, especially in the aftermath of life after lockdowns and shutdowns? Pandemic situation, though extended, was still temporary, and not a permanent mode. Yet, it brought in a landmark change in the way we work and relate to people, as well as in maintaining contact. Today, it has become a normal tendency to call, text, or meet online, more than in person. Even attendance at family events such as marriage, deaths, and other functions are being attended online rather than in person! Granted that for those who are at a distance, connecting via the internet is a boon, but that should not become normative. It is just a facility that facilitates interaction when presence is not feasible or impossible, but to make it the norm is detrimental to our own and our family’s well-being.

We can, of course, choose which ones warrant attendance, or when you should make an appearance. Yet that does not mean we must make it an excuse for avoiding contact, nor be lazy or lethargic about relationships. One major cause of depression today is isolation, and lack of community contact and interaction. We need to strengthen our relationship with others, folks we are related to, those whom we know, people we call friends and above all, with our families.

In recent times, we have become too preoccupied with work, career, making money etc., and have lost the art of connecting with our dear and near. We need to revive and restore certain traditions and evolve a home culture. These include having dinner together with kids and whole family, a morning coffee time with spouse, a weekly call to parents and siblings, a connecting with at least one person per day, probably a friend we lost touch with, being part of physical gathering of the church, and so on. This is for our own wellbeing, for the sake of others, and to avoid being mercenary or just using people as though they are commodities to use and throw!

Image by freepikGod God relates with us | Freepik

God’s work mode

God not only sought to build and establish a relationship with man, but He also gave them His Word and His laws to be the SOP, so that they could be totally His and reflect His glory to others. He ordained the priesthood to maintain and keep relationship links strong and open through sacrifices, Sabbaths, feasts etc. He sent prophets to be His mouthpieces and communicate His pleasure or displeasure about their conduct.

The question now is what is our work mode, our work ethic and our work culture? Is our attitude in work to just use people to get the work or task we set them to do? Do we understand that people are not tools or instruments to accomplish our targets, but are humans with emotions, feelings and sentiments? Shouldn’t we look beyond their job description to who they are as individuals who can be destroyed or boosted with how we treat them? Do we use words to help them gain confidence, feel valued or do we use our mouth to put them down or make them feel inferior?

In our work, whether we do it remotely or in person, we have the supreme and superb opportunity to interact and communicate with people. A word of thanks, a gesture of applause, a letter of appreciation etc., go a long way in making people feel valued and safe. More so now, when the pandemic drew us away from contact in real-time and space, and we have become complacent about showing up physically. We need to go the extra mile to care for those who we work with and for us, even when our work culture today is more in the online mode than in person. A simple call can help people overcome depression and overthrow the lethargy that comes with being stuck at home for a long seasons.

Photo by <a href="">Rosie Sun</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>
God and Community Sense | Unsplash

God’s present mode

God through His Spirit has impacted us with His presence, in the process giving ample proof that He never leaves or forsakes us. The Spirit of God gives us clear proof that God doesn’t want to be the God at a distance, not even to be outside of us, but to be resident within us. The Holy Spirit inhabits us, facilitating an intimate, on-going, dynamic, dialectic, daily interaction with us. This is the heartbeat of God, to be near His people and not far from them, which He does today.

The Spirit of God is constantly at work within us, endowing us with power, gifts and abilities that enable us to participate in His mission to save the world and restore others to God. He is our Comforter Who sticks closer than a brother and never leaves us, constantly encouraging us in a silent but powerful way. Are we at this time being a help and comfort, a friend in need to others? Or have we confined ourselves to a small circle and selfishly limited ourselves to just me and mine?

God today is present in a very powerful way in the community of faith, and works in a real way through His church. The early Christians understood the efficacy and importance of being together, and so, often met together in large numbers in the temple courts and other places, as well as in small groups in homes. One of the two words in Greek by which the first century church was known is Koinonia  meaning fellowship, and the other is Ecclesia meaning congregation or association. These words point to the character and nature of the early church, viz., communion and congregating, which was the reason for their strength even in the face of adversity!

God is still here on earth with us, still operational on earth in a present way, not remote but proximate and accessible! We as God’s people are the members of His Body who can show and demonstrate His love and care to this hurting world. Bible admonishes us not to neglect the gathering together of the saints. May we take opportunity to do good and draw many to the knowledge of His Kingdom and its rule by being present and in touch, with Him and others!

Photo by <a href="">Priscilla Du Preez ��</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>
People and not Remote Sense | Unsplash

Are we still in Remote Sensing Mode?

Our God is not One Who is satisfied with remote sensing or off-site working but seeks to be close and constant. He isn’t content to have distant or online communication but seeks to speak to us. God is not comfortable with a stay-at-home or be-at-a-distance association but is hungry for an active love relationship that seeks to walk and talk with Him. He is also desirous that we connect with those around us and be aware of people. Our Creator has pointed out through His Son that only two things as His supreme commands – Love God, Love your neighbor!

From the beginning, God has always sought and till today still seeks to be onsite with us. He has formed us for a relationship with Himself and with others, and therefore, offsite and online should not be our prime option, especially in church and community gatherings. Let us take time to get back in touch with Him and others!

God always works to give a personal touch whether He performs from afar ie. offline or in-person through His Son. God is all about the personal touch when He uses us for HIs work and employs us as His servants, designating us as friends and His own family. May we exhibit the same care for those who are colleagues and avoid being impersonal or remote in these days of online work space!

What is our present and current persuasion? Are we in a relationship with Him or are we out of touch with Him? Do we prefer to keep Him at an arm’s length or opt to actively seek His companionship, desiring it above all else?

How is our relationship and connection with others? Do we take time to talk, enquire and help others? Even when not able to meet, are we reaching out to others and seeking their companionship?

Are we being remote or intimate, offsite or onsite, offline or online, not just with God, but with people too? Is our operating and relating mode remote sensing or staying and being in touch?

May we not continue the practice of social distancing, or God distancing, or people distancing but go back to being human and humane!

 *As a continuum, read my article Statelessness, The Default State & Status Of Christians?

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