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Treasured To Be Human

Posted 2/2/2019

     After over five years of improving on my sleeping pattern, it's still a constant struggle. So when I woke up late for the weekly morning fellowship with some brothers, I was frustrated—specially after I realized that I forgot to set my alarm clock to sound. But the anguish thoughts were suddenly replaced by the joy and blessings of being a human being and as God's creation.


    I was reminded at a recent sermon that I need to shout for joy for God's blessings on me, such as my identity as the Father's dearest child (Luke 15: the parable of the prodigal son) and the Lord's precious darling (as depicted in Song of Solomon); and for being alive and relatively healthy, plus other things that He has given me. We are to do this especially when we get up first thing in the morning to set our minds on Him and to set the tone for the day. David mentioned about his morning routine in various Psalms, but I will save that for a later post.


     Especially on that Tuesday morning, I treasured the fact that I am a human being who was fearfully and wonderfully made by God, who gave me free will to respond to different situations and enabled me to make adjustments and improve to become more glorious. He created me with such great potential that I can improve constantly and continuously, as I was created in His image—not physically like God, but be as sanctified as Him, such as in behavior, conduct, and relations with others, and especially to love and obey God.


    To think of God and treasure my existence after a failure (waking up late, forgot to set alam, etc.) isn't easy or automatic, even as a Christian. There is no buttons to press or computer algorithm to correct for a quick fix, but it requires understanding of Biblical truths and constant practice of Godliness, just like what Paul reminded Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:7-8. Like many of us, I also would like quick fixes to just about every aspect of myself, so I may present myself as glorious and more acceptable to others.


    We cannot doubt God's wisdom in the way He created us, however. He has given us free will to love and trust in Him by practising godliness and be willing to improve for Him because He loves us most and to increase our faith. Can you imagine if He created us like robots so we would love Him forcefully? How purposeful would that be for us as humans? And, as a deeper question, would we still be humans in that case?


    Recently, I watched numerous documentaries on YouTube about artificial intelligence, from knowing what it is to discussing the dangers of it for Christians. Christians fear them because of how it was symbolically warned in the Book of Revelation regarding the creation of a one-world religion, society, and currency, as it is gradually spreading in the form of microchips, not only to replace cash in the future, but to store personal information in a chip the size of a grain of rice. Every subsequent generation since after World War Two has been benefiting from the rapid technological advancement, which has made our lives easier and performs difficult tasks more efficiently. Some examples would be self-checkouts in supermarkets and virtual assistants such as Amazon's Alexa, where “she” can perform tasks and retrieve information instantly.


    To many, these level of advancement is just the beginning of human-machine merger. The more capable the computer engineers, the more they want to achieve. Aside from microchips to store personal information and virtual assistants to help or remind you on tasks, robots that are capable of replacing simple laborious jobs are already either being developed or in use, such as robot receptionists. In the near future, more capable robots will replace human workforce. Ultimately, we ourselves will become a robot, or at least with uploadable brains that can store information and perform complex tasks better than many supercomputers combined.


    Yes, I once enjoyed and have read many science fiction novels, but the technologies being described in those novels are gradually becoming reality, or at least on the drawing board. It is no longer considered as fantasy to think about ideas from sci-fi movies. It may not be as far-fetched as time travel, but most ideas are being discussed and researched to become reality.


    We want to be better, faster, stronger, smarter, and live longer, but no matter how technologically advanced we become, we already have the best from the One who created us—God. As Prof. John Lennox presented and reminded us, we have the brightest and guaranteed eternity after this life, where our bodies will be transformed tremendously (ref. 1 Corinthians 15) with abilities that are better than any scientist or computer engineer would ever discover.


    For this reason, and for the blessing that I can live and improve for God, I treasure myself being an imperfect human being, but one who has the heavenly Father's full acceptance as His eternal child, because He already given us this eternal relationship and identity as long as we receive the Lord, and there is no algorithm for love.


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