I am new to all this computer language, but I am really liking the idea of the "ping". There are some interesting parallels between "pinging" and what happens between a Christian and God on a moment to moment basis. I'm better at Christian language than at computer language, so I'm translating this for anyone out there in the same boat!
Basic to Christian theology is the idea that each Christian is given the Holy Spirit as a way to connect with God on a continual basis. So often I think that when life gets hard I have to "find God" when all the time God is continually "finding me" and knows my exact address. I searched Google for a definition of "Ping" and its opened up a great checklist of questions for us as Christians. Follow with me below:
#1) A utility that forwards data packets to check the quality of a link or verify the connection of a machine to the Internet.
TRANSLATION: God sends me the information I need, He also checks to see if I am receiving it or if anything is blocking its path. Is anything deliberately blocking it?
#2) a program and UNIX command that helps testing and debugging network and/or Internet connections. An 'Echo' command is sent to a specified computer and then waits for a response. The result is a report that displays the success or failure, usually a report back of a timed response in seconds, of the intended action.
TRANSLATION: Am I obeying what God has asked of me immediately, and how long does it take me to do what He says?
#3) is used to test the availability of a host on a network or on the Internet. ... If you get replies the server is up. If not, it may be down or there may be a problem between you and the server (such as a downed phone line). ...
TRANSLATION: Have I taken the phone that connects to heaven off the hook?
#4) a utility to determine whether a specific IP address is accessible. It works by sending a packet to the specified address and waiting for a reply. PING is used primarily to troubleshoot Internet connections.
TRANSLATION: What is breaking my connection with God? God already is sending me information on how to fix it.
#5) Ping is a basic Internet program that lets you verify that a particular Internet address exists and can accept requests. The verb ping means the act of using the ping utility or command. Ping is used diagnostically to ensure that a host computer you are trying to reach is actually operating.
TRANSLATION: Can God trust me to do what He asks of me? Am I listening?
#6) A diagnostic utility program that indicates whether a remote host is actually connected to the network.
TRANSLATION: Am I connected to the Body of Christ or am I a lone-ranger Christian?
#7) A way to test the communication to another computer on the Internet Data is sent to the other computer & if the communication is successful then a reply is received - the speed of the connection can also be tested.
TRANSLATION: Do I run to do the will of God, or just do it as it suits me?
#8) A basic program used to verify that a particular IP address can be seen from another.
TRANSLATION: Am I available to God and to people who He sends to me?
#9) Ping can be used to see if another server is running or to measure the distance to another servers.
TRANSLATION: If someone needs help, am I the closest person that God will send to respond to that need?
#10) A program used to test whether an Internet host is currently online.
TRANSLATION: Am I praying or watching tv?
#11) A command that sends an echo request to a host with the expectation of a reply.
TRANSLATION: Does God find me reliable in obeying Him?
#12) To check if a host is up and running on a network. Ping is a command that sends out a packet of data and tests to see if the other host replies back. Often used to check the integrity of a network or internetwork.
TRANSLATION: There will be tests. Will I pass the integrity one?
#13) A command that provides a check that a particular host is available and reachable.
TRANSLATION: Is my heart hardened?
#14) is a DOS command installed as a part of Windows used to test connections over a TCP/IP network. One computer sends a "ping" to another, and either receives a series of three replies or (if the connection fails) a "connection timed out" message
TRANSLATION: Do I take too long to reply to God? Are my prayer times too short and spread too far apart? *Special Question for charismatic/pentecostal folk: Have I prayed in my native language and "in tongues" and/or both, to give the reply the highest possibility of being received in the Command center and to cause my system to work more efficiently? :)
#15) ping is a simple program that attempts to make a very basic kind of connection to a target machine. If the target machine responds ping alerts you that it is "alive", otherwise ping returns a message that the machine is unreachable. Note that the ability to ping a machine does not mean that the machine is fully functional, but it does indicate that the network path to that machine (including all routers between you and the machine) are up and functioning. ...
TRANSLATION: Do I belong to God or am I still "dead in my sins"?
#16) A command that can be used to determine the connectivity and speed of connectivity of a remote host. On UNIX, the ping command is used by network administrators to determine the status of host on their network.
TRANSLATION: Am I ok or does God have to ping other nearby folks to come to help me?
#17) Every time your computer connects to a P2P network, it sends out a “ping” request to other nodes so that other computers on the network are aware of your connection. Nodes that receive a ping return a “pong” back to your computer to confirm the ping request.
TRANSLATION: Am I a team player on God's team? When I pray and say, "Yes, Lord" that is a reply back, a pong.
#18) An Internet utility used to varify a connection with another site. It repeatedly bounces a signal off the remote site, showing you how long it took to complete the round trip each time. If nothing bounces back, the site is either down or unreachable.
TRANSLATION: Have I crashed and burned spiritually? God knows already and is going to send help.
Its great to know that God can reach us everywhere. At any given moment He knows where ALL His children are and what they need. David said, "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your Presence? If I rise on the wings of the dawn,...PING! if I settle on the far side of the sea,PING! even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139: 7, 9-10, 23-24) All these are the pings of God: not a mechanical machine, but a Living Person, in love, seeking us out.
God is always searching for us? Are His "pings" getting a strong pong from us?
(And special thanks to Rich Tatum of BlogRodent for helping this neophyte blogger with patient, helpful suggestions. Thanks, Rich!)