“So are you getting the new OS Lion upgrade for your Mac? ” “Oh sure,” I responded. “I am an early adopter…and I live with a couple of digital natives I like to keep up with.”
In case the previous paragraph is all “Greek” to you, let me help you out. OS Lion is the newest Operating System upgrade for Apple computers. Early adopters are just that: folks who are on the leading edge of computer change. And a digital native is one who, according to Wikipedia, is “born during or after the general introduction of digital technology” (the latter 1980s) .
This entire tech-speak caused me to ponder other early adopters and the followers who, until that point, had known no other reality. Think of those fishermen casting their nets when this fellow came along and said, “Come follow me…I will make you fisher’s of men.” Those men and women were the early adopters of what we now know as Christianity. In fact, throughout the Bible and the history of the Church, there have been early adopters – those women and men, inspired by the Holy Spirit, who stepped out in faith into unfamiliar territory.
And it very much continues to this day.
Through our collective faith journey as followers of Jesus, there have been those in every generation who are the digital natives; those who have known no other reality. For example, the youth and young adults of The Episcopal Church today have not known a time when women were not priests, acolytes, or held positions in the governance of our Church. But their parents and certainly grandparents knew a very different reality.
There is a clear correlation between the early adopters – inspired by the Holy Spirit stepping out in faith into unfamiliar territory – and the digital natives who followed them.
And to think…It really was a simple question about upgrading my computer. Before I knew it I was pondering the movement of the Holy Spirit, one generation to the next!