What happens when a few friends take up the practice of blogging on the same word every day during Lent? They get to the end, realize it’s not the end, and decide to blog on the same word once a month (today’s you’re lucky day!).
If you want to join in the fun, add your own thoughts/blog link/artwork/expression at the bottom of this post. And while you’re at it, be sure to check out the blogs of the others joining me in what we are calling #1Word5voices.
Ours is a world where videos of dancing grandmothers or guys singing about selling fish or news reports concerning fire victims get shared around the world. What starts as a friend sharing with another friend multiples until the sharing becomes exponential. It goes viral.
Instead of going into what it says about our culture that we like to share so many of these videos, I want to explore the concept of exponential sharing or what “going viral” might look like in other areas of life. What happens when a thing becomes “contagious”?
Maybe the most obvious place to start is the medical field. Without trying to panic us, doctors and scientists consistently warn us about pandemics of disease “x” or a new strain of disease “y”. Turns out the “super flu” probably wouldn’t be too super for most of us.
And that is a bit scary to me. It really wouldn’t take too much for a virus to infect the planet. At least not if it was highly contagious. And what makes a virus highly contagious?
Ease of transmission. Survivability in different climates and conditions. Speed of replication and mutation.
If a virus is easily transmitted, able to survive and thrive in multiple environments, and adapts to changing conditions quickly, it could be said to be highly contagious.
I’ve been playing a game on my phone called Plague Inc. which invites you to control these factors as you attempt to spread a disease across the planet (eliminating all life in the process…what kind of sicko plays a game like this?!? er…um…). The more contagious your disease, the more likely you’ll “win”.
So if videos and silly pictures can go viral and viruses do by definition, what else can? What else is or can be contagious?
Laughter is said to be contagious (there are more than a few laughing baby videos out there to prove the point).
Enthusiasm can be contagious.
What about love? Kindness? Goodness? Gentleness? You see where I’m gong, right?
Why isn’t the Christian life contagious? Or is it?
Easily transmitted? Able to survive and thrive in multiple environments? Adapts to changing conditions quickly?
Is this what Jesus was talking about when he talked about being salt and light? (Matthew 5:13-16) Could it be that’s what it means to be leaven? (Galatians 5:9)
I am reminded of the book/film, Pay It Forward.
The basic premise suggests instead of paying back a favor or a good deed to the person who helped you, what if you “paid it forward” to not just one person, but three people? You don’t have to have an advanced degree in mathematics to see it doesn’t take long for such a movement to reach exponential levels. With a few short moves, entire populations would be affected. A few short moves beyond that and the whole world would be touched.
One person sharing with a mere three others.
Can we be the catalyst of a contagious Christianity? I suppose if I shared my faith with just three others and they did the same and so on and so on, we might have a global phenomenon on our hands.
Well, I can’t control if or how others might share their faith, but I can control how or if I’ll share mine. Every pandemic starts with one carrier, right? One can become contagious. At least that’s my prayer this day.
Life is better together,
Want more? Check out these Contagious friends: