Its all about perspective!

It's all about perspective!

Perspectives on computers and lost files

My laptop was recently infected with a terrible virus.  The virus made it impossible to open in safe-mode, so I was stuck.   I took it to a local computer repair business that I have dealt with in the past, to have the offending pathogen removed.  Unfortunately, it took longer than expected.  (Apparently it was the Smallpox of computer viruses.)  I received a message at home a few days later to the effect that, in the process of back-up, all of the document files had been corrupted, and might not be recoverable.

I know, I know, I should have copied everything before I even took it.  And the majority of the material on the machine was on an external hard-drive.  However, I write fairly prolifically.  So, it doesn’t take long for me to accumulate a lot of material I really don’t want to lose.  Every few days I write in a specific file that is an update of my life with Jan and the kids.  Things we have done, ideas I  have had for columns or books, experiences at work.  I hadn’t put that on the external drive in months. And, I’m used to computer repair folks backing-up my hard-drive whenever they work.  In fact, this particular individual did that.  But his software had a glitch.  Not his fault, no negligence; just one of those things about computers.

Well, it took a couple of days of uncertainty for me to learn the final outcome.  And I’m ashamed to say that in the mean-time I was very upset, fretful, fearful, anxious and all the rest.  In fact, I barely slept the night I found out about the problem.  I tossed and turned, prayed and read my Bible to occupy my frantic thoughts and give me hope and perspective.  I sat up, lay down and drove my ever-patient wife to distraction.

Turns out, all was well.  He was able to recapture all of the material on the hard-drive.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  Then I hung my head in shame.

Why?  Because I ‘wigged-out’ over a computer.  Sure, a little more than just a computer, but I responded very negatively to a relatively small thing.  I have lost data before and I will again.  On the other hand, my wife and children are right here with me, safe and sound.  I don’t have dementia…yet.  So almost all of the significant memories of our times together are in my brain and can be corroborated by each of my loved ones.  So little would have been lost!  Yes, I might have lost some stories,  a few poems.  Maybe they needed to be lost.  If  they were, it might have been God’s way of editing by saying ‘start over; I didn’t like your plot structure or characterizations.’

But the really shameful thing was that I was more upset over that bit of computer, that bit of data, that bit of my own arrogance as a writer, than I usually am over the things I hear on the news or see at work, or the difficulties of some of my friends and family.

When was the last time I lay awake, tossing and turning, praying over a disaster in a foreign country, where people lost their spouses in the mud of a landslide?  When was the last time I lay awake fretting over a sick child I had seen, who was struggling for life in an ICU?  Or calling repeatedly to check on an elderly church member who had lost a spouse?  When was the last time I sat up in the middle of the night, reading scripture and praying over the futures of my children?  How often am I that concerned with helping my wife achieve the dreams that matter to her?

I took this as a great spiritual lesson, but it works for any of my dear agnostic or atheist readers as well.  Our lives are more than files, and our worth is far above computers.  We are amazing creations, or amazing products of evolution if you prefer.  But we demean ourselves when we become so focused on things or information, on devices or technology to the exclusion of rational thought;to the exclusion of our proper concern for those we love, or should love. What an amazing lesson in self-absorption!

As Jesus said, ‘you are worth more than many bytes.’  Well, he actually said sparrows, but the idea is the same.   He would never have been upset over a lost thing; only over a hurting person, a lost soul or a lost truth.

I will do a better job of backing-up my files.  But I also hope I will do a far better job realizing that those things are far less important than I tend to believe.  The way I see it now, if God wants me to write it or remember it, I will; computer or no.  And if he doesn’t, even the best computer might just find a way to lose the information.

Of course, I’m still doing the happy dance, now that my lap-top is back home!  I’m just doing it with a little more perspective on why I’m so happy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

God bless you richly and wildly, today and always!

And may your team win as you drift into a tryptophan induced coma.

Edwin

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