Monday, May 24, 2010

The case of the flickering screen

In Him we live and move and have our being. – Acts 17:28 (NIV)

When the monitor on my laptop darkened, I knew I was in trouble. Well, not me, exactly, but my trusty 17-inch notebook that I’ve used for six years. I jiggled the power cord, then the jack that plugs into the computer. The screen brightened. OK, I thought, I’m back in business.

But when the problem recurred more frequently as the months passed, I knew eventually I’d have to either repair it or get a new computer. Neither scenario was welcome. Repairing it meant taking it to the repair shop for a spell—and you know how those things go. Buying a new computer meant having to deal with all its new-fangled features.

I don’t like change. Give me the same-old, same-old so my life could run smoothly. But even the same-old, same-old gets worn out and needs replacement parts to run right. So I opted to fix the laptop.

After examining it, my computer guy diagnosed the flickering screen problem as a faulty internal jack—the one that connects to the motherboard. Motherboards, like mothers, run everything. You know the saying, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” So you keep the motherboard happy with a secure, dependable connection to the power source.

But the internal jack isn’t the only thing wrong with my laptop. It’s got a burned out battery and runs like sludge through a sieve. That’s because over time, the 512 MB of RAM (Random Access Memory) that came with the computer filled up, slowing down all the processes. Adding 2 GB of memory would help to speed things up—if—and this is a big if—the jack can be fixed and if I want to spend the money on something I’ll have to replace eventually anyway.

My old laptop’s a lot like me. I, too, run slow these days. My memory ain’t what it used to be, my battery’s shot, and my motherboard flickers if I don’t have a secure connection to the Power Source.

Unlike a computer, though, I can’t add more memory. I’m stuck with the one I’ve got. But I can make sure that what it contains doesn’t sap my energy, like worry, grudges and criticism. I renew, or “upgrade,” my mind (Romans 12:2) by filling it with God’s Word, by fixing my thoughts on what’s true, good, right, pure and lovely, by dwelling on the good things in others, and by thinking about all I can praise God for and be glad about (Philippians 4:8 LB).

I avoid burning out my battery by recharging and renewing my body, mind and spirit with adequate rest and relaxation. I accept the Good Shepherd’s invitation to “come with Me by yourself to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31).

But this will be all for naught if I don’t stay connected to the Power Source. So I pray about everything (Philippians 4:6) and I pray continually (Romans 12:11, 1 Thessalonians 5:17).

With renewed memory, recharged batteries, and a constant connection to the Power Source, I figure I’m good to go until the Maker calls this model home.

Remind me often, Lord, that You are the source of all that I do, think, and am. Amen.

Special-Tea: Psalm 62:1–2, 5–8

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