When I was growing up my world view pretty much consisted of my block and the classroom I went to school in. Not very broad. We didn't have friends or relatives that we saw often that lived out of the country, or even out of the state. When I think about my own children, I am truly amazed at the connections they have made with people their age all over the world via the internet.
Now I know all of the concerns and arguments about the bad side of the internet, but we're called to embrace our world today and bring light and good to it. Therefore, the ability of my children to get to know, and yes actually meet, many of the people they've become friends with from all over is amazing.
For example, they had a friend that they met who lives in Canada come and stay with us for a week over the summer. Yesterday we got to chat with her about how and why Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Much better than looking it up in an encyclopedia!
I am thankful that we can bring our faith into our internet connections, too. Without that, it could be a scary place for them to be. They connect with others who share the same faith but live it out in many different ways due to the location they live in. They can pray together and for each other in a way that I never even dreamed of (although, sadly, it never even occurred to me to pray for anyone when I was growing up!).
How much more enriched all of our lives are because of the friends that they have made in so many different places; all without having to travel the world. Well, now that I mention it, it definitely would be more fun to have met these people by traveling instead of chatting, but nonetheless, what a wonderful opportunity they've had to expand their horizons and share their faith that I never had when I was younger.
I believe that if we keep a cautious eye on the bad, but yet work toward increasing the good, the internet can be a great place of enrichment for all of us.