Computers: Love 'Em! Hate 'Em!

I fondly remember an old friend who disliked computers. Although he was the CEO of a moderately-sized farm supply company, he vowed to never own a computer or use one! He was of my dad’s generation. There are even a few of my peers that have little interest in computers! While our family purchased its first personal, tower-type computer in 1988, it would not be until 2000, 12 years later, that I would start using a similar pc as an exclusive ministry tool to process sermons, meeting agendas, correspondence, and other documents. I had depended on my wife and ministry assistants too long to do my typing and filing! But, when I “jumped into” the computer age, I did so with enthusiasm!

Computer Frustration!
Image credit: depositphotos.com

That was then, and this is today! My enthusiasm has waned, but I cannot go back. Everything we do today seems tied to some computer application! I work from my desk with a laptop, utilize my phone as a device to answer emails, send texts, check the weather, post on social media, reference health data, order medicine from the pharmacy, and conduct a whole host of other daily tasks. 

Our banking and charge card records are digitized. Shows that we watch on demand are run through computer channels. The Bible studies I participate in and those I facilitate weekly are conducted live and online. On occasions when we cannot be in-person, we access our church website to live-stream the worship services. At times, we may have as many as five devices going at the same time!

Now, in truth, all of this computer generated activity involves a love-hate relationship with these devices. When things work well, everything is very efficient. But sometimes, things require “tweaking” and that can be annoying when we have to re-enter personal information in order to access a particular television program. When we sign-up for a service or unsubscribe from another, this requires the tedious entry of passwords and usernames. Speaking of password storage, it now takes another app just to keep track of the dozens of passcodes we regularly use! And, I’m not bragging! I’m complaining!

What am I learning from my interaction with the keyboard of our devices? Patience, persistence, and how to pay attention to details! These are hard lessons for me! I am not patient, I tend to give up too easily, and as those closest to me know, I don’t like to read directions! I have stared at a screen for too long wondering why my password was rejected only to discover that a highlighted and red-inked message was telling me that I had offered too few characters or didn’t use a numeral or that the password I chose was already in use!

Frustrating times for me! And yes, I am a work in progress and I do confess to a love-hate relationship with all of the computer programs, applications and increasingly smaller devices I have to interact with on a day-to-day basis! What’s the answer for all of this angst? Focused prayer, meditation on God’s promises, and some self-talk along with personal centering and concentration has helped!

I plead guilty to worrying about things that usually never develop anyway! One of the go-to passages I find myself leaning into on most days is what Jesus advises in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:25-34). The opening verse says, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life,” (6:25), and the closing idea repeats the refrain, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today!” (34, NLT ). “Amen!” is all I can or should exclaim! “Amen! May it be so!”

Now, I’ve got to get back to writing this blog on my laptop computer! Pray for me! 😉

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com 

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