Forced Shutdown

Sometimes my screen gets stuck, my hard drive seems frozen. Having learned that by just pushing command +R my window will refresh, clear whatever was bogging down my progress, I am mostly only a click away from a fresh start. If things have really gone badly, I may have to do a full shutdown. I can never remember the commands to force my laptop to close out everything and take a few minutes to rest. Silently cursing myself for not writing the steps down, knowing that when I need them most I am unable to research them, I have to pull out a different device. Searching for directions, simple steps to take that will restore communication with my computer, why can’t I just remember those? Why don’t I have those on a sticky note above my desk, why do I make it unnecessarily hard on myself in times of real trouble? Thank God my phone only requires a couple of clicks to show me the answers I need, still these are extra clicks.

I trick myself with crazy scenarios. What if I got in the “Cash Cab” and had to answer the question, “How do you restore a frozen Mac?” Bah!  Done for, kicked out at the next light.  What if all I had to do was answer that question and I the genie would give me 3 wishes?  Poof, goodbye genie. What if my life depended on my ability to correctly supply the answer?  Poof, goodbye Lisa. Damn, why didn’t I decide this was valuable information, treat it with reverence, know big things could come if only I would pay attention to the commands that lead to correction when things go awry.  Alas, I don’t see many cabs around town, Uber has taken over. While I collect bottles, the only thing that ever emerges is a stray moth when I dust.  My life does though depend on remembering the steps towards restoration, not with my Mac but with my Maker.

The inevitability of finding myself stuck, frozen, not communing well with God,  while part of the human condition, is not something I am proud of at my age. I would like that to be something I lost in upgrading to my new model, not included in this year’s features. When I start freezing, sometimes a simple refresh will do: time with my faith community, a walk with Janet, some creating time with my small group. Whew, up and running again. Restored. Other times I have failed to do the back-ups needed, taken the precautions that might stave off the stuckness. Without daily communication with God,  without dedication to preserving our rightness together, I risk my heartdrive.

I truly wish I had the discipline to start each day clarifying the state of my soul, getting tune-up by and with God. Instead I crash into my day, until my day crashes on me. Or freezes me, sticks me alone in a chair wondering why I didn’t anticipate the cold?  Wishing for the sticky note with the quick clicks to get me back on track, the shortcuts to restoration, I am left with the actual work of talking to God, listening to Him, emptying my soul. Restoring is more intensive than maintenance, requires greater accountability, a deeper analysis of the system, finding all the bugs, exploring old files that can be purged. Lord knows I am not tech savvy, I am not a very methodical Methodist, this is work for me.

Yet maybe this is just how I work best with God, a complete shutdown followed by a glorious restart. I move faster, my colors are more vivid, I stop running through every old memory at each startup. Those other devices that I turn to when I am shut out? Sometimes that is a glass of wine, reruns of 30 Rock or the West Wing, sometimes it is angry imaginings not fit for publication. Sometimes devices just become vices.  More and more often though I turn to my faith community. I don’t find the shortcuts I want but wisdom love grace warmth help me defrost. A renewal begins, a page refresh. I don’t know if God its frustrated with me, wishes I did more regular maintenance but I trust He delights in our shutdown time together. I trust that He created me, He knows how I am wired. I am the 64 model, with dings and dents, a slow old hard drive, a scratched screen. His grace makes me new, He installs the updates, He is my domain master. That really is all I need,  forever on the sticky note of my soul. Shift+J+E+S+U+S.

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