Saturday, July 6, 2013

What Computers Can Teach About Restoration

I got a new old laptop. My daughter Asherel bought herself a fancy new laptop so I received the consolation prize of her old laptop. The old laptop was an incredible machine when she got it several years ago, but a few unfortunate tumbles from high places and age had taken its toll. It overheated instantly, crashed constantly and several things on it no longer worked. It had one of the best touch screens and stylus in its day, but Asherel had lost the stylus and we couldn't find a replacement. It sadly looked like the wonderful old laptop was good for little but the trash heap.

However, I decided it wouldn't hurt to call our computer guru friend, Brian, and ask him if the laptop could be salvaged just as a place to store my photos and keep my book drafts. He launched into an eloquent speech about how magnificent this laptop was and all the things he felt he could do to save it. I know nothing about computers, but I know Brian, and his expertise is legendary. I felt a spark of hope.

A week later, Brian returned the laptop. He had opened it up and cleaned it from the inside out. The overheating issue was solved by removing a felt-like mass of dust and doghair from inside the body of the poor laptop. That had the immediate effect of the battery that had not worked at all now lasting about 2 hours. The broken CD drive also seemed to miraculously now work, and he found a way to fiddle with the SD card so that it wouldn't pop out. He found a stylus pen online and ordered it, hopeful it would work. And he switched out the slow hard drive for a new one that has no moving parts like the old one, and is much less vulnerable to damage...and fast!

For the first day after receiving back the prodigal computer, I was frustrated. I have used mostly my iPad for the past few years and am very unfamiliar with real computers. Also, I downloaded a trial art program since this computer was made for graphic design with its wonderful touch screen. However, the art program was very complex. I played with it for quite a while, making the drawing on this post. I could see it had great potential but at this point, I was like a baby learning to walk. It would be months before I conquered the intricacies and remembered all I would need to know to use it effectively.

By day two of the prodigal computer's return, I was in love. this was a fantastic machine with great potential. I had a lot to learn, but I could see in the end it would be far more  useful in my publishing career than my iPad had been.

And to think...I had been ready to throw it away! All it had needed was some extensive cleaning from the inside out, a new heart (hard drive), and a Master Repairman who understood and loved it, seeing beyond what it was in its broken state to what it could be when restored.

What a lovely symbol of who God is to us! We are all broken, tarnished from deep within by rebellious spirits and sin. Many times others, and even ourselves, look at the damaged wreckage of our lives and feel there is no hope. We are beyond repair, good for nothing but the garbage. But then God, who sees us not for what we are but for what we could be, what we should be, promises we can be restored. He begs us to return to Him with a humble willing spirit, and He will give us a new heart of faith and hope. We may still not live exactly as we one day will, but the brokenness is repaired and the potential is revealed.

2 Samuel 16:12
It may be that the Lord will look upon my misery and restore to me his covenant blessing instead of his curse today.”

Ezekiel 36:26
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

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