I was talking with someone the other day about the surveillance cameras that are being installed just about everywhere. First we just saw the traffic cams that would keep us abreast of traffic jams and accidents as we watched the morning news to judge our commute to work. But now, these cameras catch us if we try to beat the red light, make a illegal turn and I am sure they soon will catch us if we are speeding. You can't walk into a store without seeing cameras that were once only common in banks and jewelry shops. In some areas they are even on the main streets. More and more schools have them and they are even being installed in churches. Yes, they are for our protection but many people view them as "Big Brother" watching over us.
Then there is this little innovation called "Google Earth" I love the site. From a satellite high above the earth it can pinpoint minute details of any place you choose to look at. Granted it is not a live picture, but in looking up my own address, I was amazed at how much was visible from these satellite images. You could practically see that my lawn need mowing (no, that was from the ground level cameras that practically see into my living room). Once I found a friend's house whose address I did not know, simply by Googling the specific area and zeroing in on landmarks that I saw in a picture she had sent me. If someone wants to find you, seems there is no place to hide.
Yes, it seems the government is always watching us, but Someone else is always watching over us as well, noticing our every move, our every step. Someone even knows our thoughts before they come to our consciousness. However we don't seem so concerned that He sees all and knows all. For some, the fact that God is ever present and ever watchful is not a deterrent to wrongdoing. Most people I would assume, are totally oblivious to the fact that God is watching us, and not "from a distance" as Bette Midler would have us think, or as the satellites circling above us in space. No, our God watches from a place much closer than surveillance cameras can ever get.
Psalm 139 expresses this beautifully. It is, according to the footnotes in my New American Bible, "A hymnic meditation on God's omnipresence and omniscience." The psalmist makes me aware that God is with me always, and there is no place where I can hide from Him. Yes, this should jolt me into making sure that my life is being lived in light of God's commandments, but it above all should give me a sense of security knowing that God's "hand will guide me."
The fact that God is watching me at all times is comforting, is calming, it gives me hope and it shows me the great depth of His Love. I cannot escape Him, no matter how far I try to run from Him. He finds me, and lets me know the foolishness in trying to flee from His Love, for it is His Love that gives me freedom, His Love that gives me Life. The fact that God knows my every thought, helps me to trust in Him more and more, to seek His mercy and forgiveness, and to know that my goal in life is to do His Holy Will and I praise Him for I am "fearfully and wonderfully made."
"Probe me, God, know my heart;
try me, know my concerns.
See if my way is crooked,
then lead me in the ancient paths." (Psalm 139: 23-24)