Summary: One thing is sure. Everything is going to change and the change is going to come faster and faster. While everything around us changes at warp speed, inthe center of it all is an Almighty God who never changes. In a rapidly changing world, take hold of God’s unchanging hand,
[Hold up my laptop]
You all know what this is, I hope. Yep … it’s a laptop … a computer. It has an Intel Pentium NB 540 processor … whatever that is. It has four gigabytes of RAM. It has 500 gigabytes of memory on the hard drive. Anyone here know what a gigabyte is? A “gigabyte” is a numerical value. A “gigabyte” is a 109 … or a 1 with nine zeros after it (1,000,000,000). That’s like a billion bits … or bytes … of data. And that’s nothing. We’ve gone a long, long, long ways past gigabytes. We now have PCs and thumb drives with “terabytes” of memory space. A “terabyte” … that’s 1012… or a million, million bytes of data.
We now have “petabytes” … which equals 1,024 terabytes. I literally have no idea how much data that actually is. But I can use this [PC] to go on the internet where I can go on-line and “google” everything. Anyone know what a “google” is? It’s a 1 with a million zeros after it!
You want to know what’s just as crazy as all this technology is the fact that you all sort of have an idea of what I’m talking about. Who here hasn’t seen a laptop? Who here doesn’t own a laptop? Who here has never heard of a thumb drive? Own a thumb drive? Knows what a “hard drive” is? Imagine going back just a mere 50 years … 50 YEARS … and trying to explain to the people back then what this thing [laptop] does … or this [mouse] … and tell them that it’s a “mouse” … or this [cellphone]. The closest thing we could imagine back them was Dick Tracy’s wrist watch phone … which was not only a two-way radio but had a picture screen on it … or the “tri-corders” on Star Trek. And for those of you who don’t know who Dick Tracy is … he was a comic strip detective who had a two-way radio the size of a wrist watch strapped to his wrist … something we all hoped to own one day. Now that I have this [cell phone] there are times when I want to toss it into the middle of Lake Okeechobee … amen? Am I alone feeling that way?
Fifty years ago they’d of had a difficult time wrapping their minds and imagination around what these things are and what they can do. I grew up in the time of punch cards. There are probably a few of you hear who remember punch cards. Then came punch tape … and then magnetic tape. Computes filled whole rooms. We dreamed of the day when we would have a computer in our homes … but that was the stuff of science fiction .. something way, way off in the future … because we couldn’t visualize how fast this technology was going to change and how much and how fast it was going to change our lives.
In 1965, Gordon Moore … co-founder of Intel … the company who made the processor in my laptop here … made an observation that is now known by his name: “Moore’s law.” Moore predicted that computers would double their computing or processing power every two years … and his prediction has held true. If anything, the rate of change has accelerated more than expected.
According to Ryan Ashad, a writer for Forbes Magazine, our technology will be 32 times more powerful than it is now in 5 years … and a 1,000 times more powerful in just 10 years … a million times more advanced in just 20 years. Ashad predicts that “singularity” will occur in approximately 30 years. “singularity” is a term that was coined by science fiction writer Vernor Vinge to describe the point where technology has become so complex and intelligent that the human mind will be unable to comprehend it. I … and I would guess some of you as well … attained “singularity” a long time ago, am I right? Change is happening so fast that our normal decision-making processes are struggling to keep up. “Blink,” warns Arshad, “you might have missed a seismic shift that could be cataclysmic.”
We live in a world that is changing every single second. We can’t keep up. But the consequences of not keeping up are frightening. Business leader Jack Welch predicted that if the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near. He may be more correct than he realizes. According to the Prophet Daniel, the last days will be filled with people running to and fro seeking knowledge … not realizing they’re accelerating right into the last days (Daniel 12:4).
All of this could be quite overwhelming … frightening even … if it weren’t for … say it with me … God. Our stability in a world filled with instability is this … God is “semper idem” … “always the same.” God is immutable. He never changes. When astronaut Alan Shepherd was getting ready to go into space for the first time, a reporter asked him: What are you depending on in this flight?” I love his answer! “I’m depending upon the fact that God’s laws will not change.”