When I woke up this morning, I had never heard of Instagram. A few years ago, I had never heard of Facebook. But you can’t read the morning news without learning that the two are merging–the latter is buying the former for $1 billion.
It turns out Instagram is good at helping people post and share photos online. When the company made its app available for Android devices last week, it was downloaded five million times in six days. The company’s 13 employees have attracted 30 million users in two years. Now they are being acquired by a company that would be the third-largest country in the world.
Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement on his “Timeline,” his profile on his Facebook page–an interesting way for a major corporate merger to be disclosed. Instagram’s founder said he’s “psyched to be joining Facebook”–an interesting description for a corporate titan to use. Facebook users are already uploading more than 250 million photos a day; now they’ll be able to do even more with their mobile photos.
I remember when people took pictures with Kodak equipment; now the company is in Chapter 11, a victim of the digital age. We used the Yellow Pages to find phone numbers; this morning we’re hearing that AT&T is selling most of its version of the directory (Verizon did the same in 2006). We went to bookstores to buy books; Borders is liquidating 200 stores this year. Sony was a technology giant; this morning the company is announcing that its losses last year were twice as bad as expected.
How does all this change make you feel? Someone said that everyone likes change until it happens. I’ve also heard that the only person who likes change is a wet baby. And that change is inevitable, except from a vending machine. Our jokes mask our fears. Do you worry that the world is headed down a path you don’t want to travel? Do you wonder if you can keep up with the changes swirling around us?
John was an old man when Rome tore him away from family, friends, and all he knew, shipping him to the Alcatraz of the ancient world. In his maelstrom of emotions and fears on Patmos, one Sunday morning his best friend came to the exiled apostle. Jesus placed his right hand on John and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades” (Revelation 1:17-18).
Because of Easter, your best friend is alive today. He loves you and likes you and is praying for you at this very moment (Romans 8:34). Nothing in today’s news surprises him. He holds the keys to time and eternity in his crucified hands. So hear him whisper to your soul, “do not be afraid.” Name your fears for the future and entrust them to his omnipotence. And know that when Facebook is as obsolete as my father’s typewriter, Jesus will still be the Lord of the universe. And you will still be a child of the King.