Spiritual Matters: When the program fails – re-install it

FIRST came the dinosaurs. Then, hot on their heels came the era of the early photograph – with the photographic slide riding the crest of this new technology. Exciting stuff.

The photos we took in my younger days were on this photographic film which was then lodged with a processor who developed it and mounted each tiny negative on a small cardboard square with a hole in the middle.

These would be fed into a small hand-held battery-powered viewer. But when we had access to a large electric projector, we could view the end result with delight – brightly displayed on a very much larger screen.

How we loved those evening slide shows.

Technology has moved us on. The world of photography is very different today.

I sat next to an Indian couple on a flight from New Delhi to Singapore two years ago. They lived in New Zealand but had returned home to India for their wedding among family and friends.

With great delight, they showed me several albums bulging with high-definition photographs of their wedding. The wedding was lavish; the photographs stunning; an awesome collection.

With more than a pang of regret I remembered how we’d asked a friend to take the photos at our own wedding-on-a-shoestring. We only ever received a small number of tiny black-and-white proofs. Nothing more. So my wife and I have had just one wedding photo to remind us of our ‘big day’.

Then very recently, one of Janine’s brothers sent her a box of 20 slides he’d taken himself on our wedding day. So I decided to copy these onto my computer using a film scanner I’d bought to capture some other historic photos on slides.

After hours of frustration, I gave up in disgust. No matter what I did, the programme would always get to a point where a text box would appear on screen with a message that something bad had gone wrong.

The computer wouldn’t even let me close the text box. It froze. And the only way forward was to switch the computer off and restart it.

In desperation, I rummaged through the scanner box for clues. Here I discovered the original set-up disc. Nothing ventured, nothing gained: I inserted it into the computer and worked through the installation process again.

Hey presto. It worked. So now I can finally retrieve and save those valuable old wedding photos onto my computer. What a blessing.

Isn’t this typical of life? Even with careful nurturing through our childhood years and a solid grounding by word and example, sometimes our lives can run off the rails as a consequence of seen or unseen influences, actions and decisions.

We may or may not be aware of the growing problem until we reach a critical point when it all falls in a heap. Perhaps that’s the time we need to rummage around in the box of early influences looking for clues.

In this box we may well find the critical disc with which God programmed us in his own image and ways. The trick then is to take that disc (named Jesus) and re-install it into our lives to counter the bad influences that so effectively corrupt our life’s programme.

Then, and only then, will we recover our potential to be the person God always intended us to be.

It’s more than just an interesting analogy. Jesus can change lives. Big-time.



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