What If God Were Like Alexa?

Over Christmas, my husband and I got both sets of parents (and ourselves) the new Facebook Portal so that we could video chat with them. My father-in-law has had some health issues, and it’s been a real blessing to not only talk but to see him and my mother-in-law on a video chat format that’s easy for everyone to use.

But the portal comes with something I said I’d never have in my house–Alexa.

I’ll admit it. I’ve gotten sucked in. I can ask Alexa to play an 80’s mix of music or to message my kid about when she’ll be home from rehearsal. I can find out what the weather is in Madagascar. I can have her pull up recipes for gluten-free pancakes. (FYI: if you’re a fan of Schitt’s Creek, and you’re watching it too close to your Alexa device, every time someone calls out “Alexis,” your device will come on and say, “I didn’t quite get that.”)

It’s really quite captivating–like when I first got Siri on my phone, but better. I’m sure the novelty will wear off after a while, but it has me thinking—what if God were more like Alexa?

God on speed dial

What if I could just call out, “Hey God,” and God would immediately respond with, “Good morning, Anne, what can I help you with today?”  I might say, “Well, God. I’m really worried about our country, and I need to know what to say to a friend whose life is falling apart, and my to-do list is out of control, and I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do with the rest of my life. Help!” And then God would talk me down from the ledge, put me in a better mindset and make it all okay.

Wouldn’t it be great if, in the midst of making a major life decision, you could press a button and get God direct?  “Hello God, should I take the job offer in Denver? “Hello God, is my current girl/boyfriend the person I should marry?” Sometimes, God (like Alexa) might say, “Let me think about that” before giving an answer, but would eventually come back with something definitive.

Wouldn’t it be great if, in the midst of making a major life decision, you could just call out and get God on the line…like really on the line?  “Hello God, should I take the job offer in Denver? “Hello God, is my current girl/boyfriend the person I should marry?” Sometimes, God (like Alexa) might say, “Let me think about that” before giving an answer, but eventually come back with something definitive. With my luck though, I’d probably get, “Here are some options for…”

This Alexa-like God connection could be used to benefit others as well. “Hey God, my best friend just lost his job. What I can I do right now to be truly helpful to him and his family?” Or sometimes just a “God, could you send me a text confirming that you have, indeed, received my prayers for world peace?”

Would it really work, though?

I tried posing some more difficult, life-dealing questions to Alexa. “Alexa, what should I do when a friend is grieving?”  Alexa assures me she is checking on my request and then sends me to Beliefnet.com and an article on “21 Ways to Help a Grieving Friend.” Does that qualify as an answer? So I tried again. “Alexa, should I continue a career in ministry?” This time I got a direct answer, “Sorry, I don’t know that.”

Sometimes I wish God could be a little more like Alexa, ready with answers at my beck and call, but most of the time I realize what a limited God that would be. The all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present Creator of the Universe reduced to some sort of computerized cosmic bell hop? I don’t think so.  I’ll take a mysterious,  all-powerful God who loves me unconditionally over a quick-fix quirky computer interface any day.

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