The Internet is often described as a “safe” way to get to know new people because of the option to disconnect with someone if we feel that our personal space is being infringed on. But a friend recently introduced me to a kind of social networking designed to allow others into one’s personal space. Via this network, also known as couch-surfing, travellers from all around the globe can get connected and have the opportunity to host fellow travellers in their homes. From what I’ve heard, it has been growing in popularity among the young and adventurous travel enthusiasts.
The question that ran through my mind as my couch-surfing friend extolled the virtues of this mode of making friends across continents was “Would I open my home to a stranger I just met online?” Call me conservative or timid, but allowing a stranger into my personal space is not something I am comfortable with. I guess that is why they named the site “couch-surfing” and not “room-surfing”, in a bid to give the potential host a sense of controlled accessibility (since the host has the prerogative to determine which rooms the guests have access to).
The way couch-surfing works reminds me of a recent illustration I’ve heard. It was about a man who had invited Jesus to come live with him at his home. He then told Jesus to make Himself at home. Jesus, being the good guest that He is, began to clean and tidy up the living room space. At first, the host was happy and accepted what Jesus had done; he even thanked Him. Then slowly, Jesus began cleaning up the mess in other areas of the home. The host became increasingly uncomfortable and finally told Jesus that while he was perfectly fine with Him cleaning up the mess anywhere in the house, the master bedroom is out of bounds.
That illustration highlights the point that all of us have certain areas in our lives where we think we can hide from God. And although we willingly accept Jesus as Savior, we get uncomfortable when He exercises His authority and right over our whole lives as Lord.
Hebrews 4:13 states that “no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account”(ESV). This verse reminds us that even if we try to compartmentalize our lives, we cannot hide anything from God.
Coming back to the couch-surfing example, do we treat Jesus the same way we may treat a fellow traveller—merely as a guest and confine him to the couch? Or do we recognize him as the Savior who has full control and access into every aspect of our lives?
Photo credit: TheMarque / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)