My computer hard drive crashed earlier this week. I knew I was in trouble when I woke up to one of those blue screens filled with white type in a language that I know is English but doesn’t mean a thing to me. I rebooted to get an even worse message. My writing and all my business work were in the proverbial wastebasket.
And I hadn’t even had my morning bowl of cereal yet.
Twenty years ago, when we all accessed the fairly new internet through our phone lines, FTP’ed everything, and experienced conversations in semi-real time on black screens with just words and symbols, I loaded a new program onto my new computer without first creating a directory for it, thereby giving my computer a signal for two executables that left it confused. I was in tears, literally. I managed to remove all the files of the program I had just installed improperly (there weren’t so many files to a program back then), and my computer was up and running again. But, I was a basket case.
In contrast, Monday morning’s fiasco was just another day in the life of me. Why? Well, for one thing, I use an online backup service that constantly keeps all my files up-to-date, just in case. So, staring at a computer screen that wasn’t going to operate, I knew that, worst case scenario, I would be able to download everything that I needed if I had to start over. My second backup was the knowledge that I have a great guy for working on computers who has gotten me out of more than one mess. Before the day was out, I had a new, cloned drive and hadn’t lost a thing!
The moral of the story? Experience and a backup plan are the key to facing life’s challenges with the kind of calm demeanor we see portrayed on the big screen by great teachers like Yoda, or better yet, with the utter peace Christ, our greatest Teacher, demonstrates in the Bible.
Experience is one thing that time itself takes care of. The longer you live, the more things you have to deal with. As my Dad is always reminding me:
“90% of the things you worry about don’t even happen, and the 10% that do are never as bad as you thought they would be.”
With a growing body of lessons learned through actually living through problems or challenges, you discover as you age that, even though life always has curves to throw you, your growing arsenal of problem-solving skills makes those curves much more manageable.
Life’s backup plan works a lot like my own online backup subscription. All we have to do is “sign up” by knowing in our hearts that Christ died for us and then come before Him to ask for Him to be our Savior, repenting of our sins and taking on the guardian of the Holy Spirit who will guide us in our new life. With Christ as our backup, we cannot lose! He took on our sin so we would not be condemned by it to eternal death. He has in mind our ultimate best interest, which is glory in the eternity of Heaven. Jesus has our back.
Make no mistake: a Christian life still has problems. In fact, that is part of God’s design. Paul explains:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:35-37)
We are going to face problems, in the name of Christ and as just a part of living in a fallen world. But God has a plan to bring us out on the other side of those problems. The better we get at leaning on Him during times of trouble and triumph, the more we will feel Him catching us even before we have time to get too worried about the problems we are facing.
Kind of like my reaction to a crashed computer Monday morning. Truly, I took the problem as a sign that I needed to take a break from the electronics for Monday and reflect on my own relationships with God, my family, and myself. It was a nice “break” that really helped me set up a happy, productive, and calm week.
Paul emphasizes the bonus of our backup plan:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
So, as you face challenges this week, remember that you have the greatest backup plan on the planet. And you not only have a lifetime subscription, but an eternal one:
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)