Oh No! Recently, I watched my life virtually disappear when my laptop crashed one morning. In an instant, everything on my hard drive evaporated into the black hole that lies deep within the cyberspace universe.
Imagine my disbelief as the screen faded to black while informing me in blocky white letters of many unsuccessful attempts to rescue my files. All the papers for my college courses, documents, talks, journals, photos, etc. were gone as though they never existed. Fortunately, the most significant documents, like my doctoral project, I emailed to myself a couple of years ago. But to my knowledge the rest of the files were gone.
I couldn’t remember the last time I backed up everything. The thought of losing years of hard work was devastating. What was I thinking? Why didn’t I act on the impulse to back the system that morning? Earl’s reassurances that everything was secure online turned out to be wrong.
After the initial shock wore off, a ray of hope began to surface. “So what?”, I thought. Surely there were software experts available someplace who could recover my files. Besides, perhaps I needed to be honest with myself and admit that many of the items on my hard drive were not worth saving.
As I commiserated about my misfortune, I discovered that what I the experience was not really a crisis at all. It was an opportunity to start over.
Out with the old and in with the new. I thought of the words of Paul in the New Testament about God’s power through Christ offering second chances to individuals, making them new creatures. His focus was on “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” Throughout his life, Paul committed to, “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ” (Philippians 4:13-14).
I think about the significance of Jesus’ death for our sins and how His forgiveness covers everything I ever did. As difficult as my PC crash and burn was, it lead me toward a deeper understanding of the grace of God. Experiencing God’s forgiveness is like owning a brand new computer, where the past files of mistakes and regrets stored on the hard drive of your old life are gone forever.
Paul writes in his letter to the Colossians that Christ has “wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us…and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross”(Colossians 2:14-15).
After many futile attempts to resuscitate my computer, I purchased a new laptop and started my life over again. My new computer screen, like a blank canvass, now waits for me to create a mural of ideas, pictures, apps, videos and emails. Voila! You are now reading my very first blog on my new PC.
OK, so I admit it. Maybe this all sounds way too spiritual and what I really need to do is to start working on recovering some of my files. Perhaps. But nonetheless I truly am grateful to God for yet another opportunity to experience His grace, to start over…again.