The everywhere-nowhere future
Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth, and no one will even think about the old ones anymore. – Isaiah 65:17
2 Peter 3:12-13
12 Looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames.
13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.
The story is told of a recorded phone call to customer support that went through to an employee’s home when the strict shelter-in-place, work-from-home regulations were in effect during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
Client: “No! This is unacceptable. I want to speak to one of your superiors”
Customer support: “Moooom!”
2020 saw the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the beginning, no one knew exactly what was happening or how to respond. However, major life changes were required. In addition to commonly used terms such as quarantine and home offices, new terms and ideas were added to the jargon of the world’s languages: social distancing, shelter in place, work from home.
Many business owners and employees are forced to move their workspace to their homes. Classroom education shifted to online classes powered by Zoom, Microsoft teams, Skype, and the like.
Almost overnight, that which was considered somewhat of an extremely futuristic dream suddenly became a reality. The world would never again be the same and a new epithet entered the mainstream: the everywhere-nowhere future.
Throughout human civilization, people lived where they labored. In 2020, more than 90 percent of Americans drove to work, and their average commute was about 27 minutes. Urban economics is based upon this connection. Remote work weakens and ultimately severs it. Spatial proximity is replaced by cloud-based connectivity.
An important outcome of the pandemic was not that we learned how to use Zoom, but rather we were forced to learn how to use Zoom. “Telecommunications doesn’t have to be the perfect substitute for in-person meetings, as long as it’s mostly good enough. For the most part, remote work just works” (Derek Thompson).
In the 1950s and 1960s, the U.S. highway system was constructed. It allowed higher-income families to move from downtowns to the distant suburbs. In the 2020s, Zoom, and the like, will spread out the population even more.
Silicon Valley is forever altered. Rather than referring to a specific place or geographical location, Silicon Valley is now dispersed across many localities. The metro hub could become obsolete as companies embrace the reality of a permanently distributed workforce. Could the next Silicon Valley be everywhere and nowhere?
After 2020 the city in the cloud will become a more accessible version of the city on the Earth. It will be driven by agglomeration, specialization, and convenience. The future of the workplace is everywhere-nowhere
REFLECT & PRAY
Matthew 24:30 And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens . . .. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Father what an amazing future You have in store for all children of the King. From Your perspective, the future is now. Increase the joy of Your presence in our lives a bit more day by day.
Children of the King already live in parallel realities. We are citizens of Earth and citizens of heaven at the same time. In a sense, we dwell in an Earth-based city and a cloud-based city simultaneously. But in reality, it is quite different. Rather than being everywhere-nowhere, it is an everywhere–someone actuality.
The Father is everywhere (omnipresent) at once. Wherever the Father is, children of the King are with Him in the heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:20).
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much,
5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)
6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.
At the same time, a future physical kingdom is coming to Earth. One day the Lord Jesus Christ will return and reign as Messiah and King over the promised kingdom of God. This however is only temporary, a 1000 years (Revelation 20).
The kingdom of God on earth, in turn, will be replaced by a New Heavens and New Earth and a city that is simultaneously cloud-based and earthbound. Spatial proximity with the Lord Jesus Christ and cloud-based connectivity will exist congruently for eternity.
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone.
2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.”
Psalms 24:10 Who is the King of glory? The LORD of Heaven’s Armies – he is the King of glory.