And I am not alone in this privilege. The previous Pastor’s Secretary served here for forty years. We currently have an Associate Pastor who is in his thirty-eighth year of service on staff. Our Maintenance Man has been in place for over thirty years; and our Children’s Director for nineteen years.
We are saying goodbye this week to yet another long-tenured staff member: our Media Director, who has been with us for eighteen years. While we are always sorry to lose one of our team members, I am especially sorry to see Ms. Sabrina Stamper finish her course here at First Baptist Church.
Down through the years, she has delivered me from a thousand little foxes that have spoiled the vines of computer technology. And my testimony is echoed by countless others whom she has assisted down through the years.
When we said goodbye to her this week in staff meeting, she left us with these words of wisdom: “Google it!” After a hardy laugh, we all agreed that we would each now have to stand on our own two proverbial feet, and learn to research problems and solutions on our own.
I will follow her advice, emboldened by her example down through the years. And I am sure that, given enough time and experience, I will eventually become reasonably self-sufficient in identifying and resolving minor computer glitches.
But her parting admonition is nothing compared to the foundational wisdom she imparted to me a number of years ago. I will always remember the day that she taught me one sure fire way to resolve most any computer issue I would ever encounter.
It involves just three simple steps. "If you ever get in over your head," she said, "just simultaneously press down the control button, the alt button, and the delete button. Concurrently pressing these buttons and holding them in place will lead to a reboot. It happens directly on older machines. On newer ones, it opens the task bar that gives you, the user, the ability to exit whatever program you are in and then reboot if necessary."
I have never forgotten that simple procedure. And in truth, more times than I can count, employing it has gotten me out of a jam when my machine either locked up or was otherwise incapacitated by some malfunctioning program.
Of course, these days “Control/Alt/Delete” has become somewhat of a cottage industry. As a simple online search will attest, everything form pillows, to t-shirts, to coffee mugs now carry this expression.
More than these things, this the ubiquitous phrase has also become a metaphor for starting over in life. And a fitting one at that. For it is not just our computers that get locked up, incapacitated, or otherwise driven to malfunction. Very often, our lives do the same.
In the Bible, we see many people whose lives got so discombobulated that they found themselves in need of a new start. Joseph, Job, Moses, Jonah, Peter… all these and many more found themselves in a positon of needing a fresh start, a "reboot", if you will. And in every case, God worked in their respective lives to bring this about.
Even our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, following three and half years of public ministry that ended in crucifixion, death, and burial experienced a reboot three days later when He came up out of the grave!
As I look back over my own life, I see that there have been many times when God has allowed me to start over. The greatest of these, of course, was when I found new life in Christ Jesus and became His disciple. But on numerous other occasions as well, when I have found myself over-matched by life and over-burdened by trouble, God has given me the new start that I needed. For that, I will always be thankful.
If you happen to be in such a position today, remember that God in His goodness allows us to start over - to reboot - as needed. Be it a new location, a new career, a new relationship, or any other thing we are in need of, all we need to do is to give it to God. And then, having allowed Him to take “control”, present us with an “alternative” direction, and then “delete” what all has gone on before, we can press on in a whole new direction.
As the Apostle Paul himself said (in his New Testament Letter to the Philippians, chapter 3, verses 13 and 14): “This one thing I do. Forgetting the things which are behind, and reaching forward to the things which are ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: http://biblehub.com/nheb/philippians/3.htm.