May 31, 2008

i robot...

Robots are in the news these days.   On Monday, the Phoenix Mars Rover landed safely on the Red Planet.   It's mission:   to find water thus making life on Mars a possibility.   The good news is that the lead researcher, Peter Smith, is from the University of Arizona.   The bad news is that pictures reveal nothing more than a barren moon-like landscape.   Truly, I was hoping for little green creatures doing the Macarena.   This makes me wonder if this really is true, or if this is all being choreographed at some film stage located on the set of Old Tucson Studios.   It certainly would be a lot cheaper.


Another robot is being designed to travel through Antartica.   Georgia Tech researchers are designing a robot called SnoMote which is a small snowmobile with lots of gauges.   It will travel throughout the south pole and tell us important information...   like that it is very cold and there's lots of ice.   I read that they will be testing the rover on Colorado glaciers.   I lived in Colorado for almost ten years and never knew there were Colorado glaciers.   Go figure.


Another fantastic breakthrough in robotic technology happened at the Pittsburg School of Medicine.   Apparently monkeys have successfully controlled a robotic arm through brain waves.   Wow!   If this can translate to humans, this will provide major breakthroughs for those who are paralyzed.


Robots are a 20th century invention.   The word comes from the Czechoslovakian word robota or robotnik meaning slave, servant, or forced labor.   Now we use robots for everything:   Unmanned flight, military reconnaissance, manufacturing, you name it.   In fact, I have seriously considered getting a robotic vacuum cleaner.   I could put a doggie bone on the top and kill two birds with one stone.   But it's so much more fun hearing the children wail about their chores, so I will wait until they are gone.  


But all this robotic technology makes me wonder why God didn't just create robots in the Garden of Eden.   It would have made His life a lot easier!   There would have been no sin.     He could have made pre-programmed little robots that would bow down and worship Him perfectly throughout eternity.


I can think of a couple of reasons.   First, God wanted to make us in His own image.   And since God is Love, He made us as creatures that love.   But perhaps more importantly, God wants us to love Him not out of some pre-programmed robotic control, but because we truly do fear and love Him and have the choice to reject Him.


In any event, we are not robots to be programmed.   God could have solved our sinful nature by simply reprogramming us to be robots, but instead He sent His Son Jesus to redeem us and to allow us to remain as creatures made in His image.   That is true love.



Pastor David Hook

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