Corroded and Confused

Being without a computer is hard.  I had spent nearly four weeks waiting for my computer to be updated and it just wasn’t getting done.  I was trying to be patient, but when I was continually working through YLF deadlines and needing to get some writing done, it was a daily struggle.  I would go to my office as often as I could, but the never-ending winter weather and the fact that I would have to walk for almost a mile frequently put a damper on those plans.  I was desperate to get my thoughts down on paper, but I wasn’t about to resort to notebook and pen.  My neck just ached thinking about the amount of bending and strain that would take place for that to be effective.

So I got out my Tablet, hooked up my wireless keyboard, and got ready to write up a storm.  I knew it wouldn’t be as comfortable as writing on a computer, but mobile technology with its undependable quirks and tendencies would have to do.  But I had no idea that it would turn out to be as difficult of an ordeal as it did in the end. 

I put my fingertips to the keys, but nothing happened.  I flipped the switch on the keyboard off and on, turned the blue-tooth signal on and off, and looked at the keyboard inputs on the Tablet itself, but I was getting nowhere.  I simply couldn’t get any words to show up on the screen.  So as a last resort, I searched for the elusive battery compartment.  Perhaps the batteries were dead and needed to be replaced.  Wireless keyboards run on batteries, right?  I wasn’t so sure, but I was desperate enough to find out.

Finally, success!  I was able to pry open the battery compartment and remove three AA batteries.  I replaced them with new ones, closed everything up, and tried to type again.   Still, there was no success.  I grumbled under my breath as I gathered up my Tablet, keyboard, and the rest of my paraphernalia.  Someone had to know what to do, and I figured that person would be at the local hardware store.  I had gone into the hardware store several times before with odd requests for help and today would be no exception.  The employees had always been so good to me in the past: finding specific florescent light bulbs for my CCTV, a watch battery that would make my talking timer work again, and pair after pair of headphones since I am constantly breaking them.

I found my friend Betty Jo in the paint department where she typically works, and we greeted each other enthusiastically.  She asked me if I needed any help, and I told her about my dilemma.  She gathered up a few supplies and led me to a counter at the back of the store.  Armed with a four-pack of batteries, she proceeded to empty out the batteries I had recently replaced, finding a surprise along the way.  There had not been three batteries in the compartment, but four!  The fourth battery was wedged to the back of the compartment and had corroded there dangerously close to the terminal.  Betty Jo worked her magic with some electronic cleaner and soon had the fourth battery removed and replaced, cleaning everything out in the process. 

“Okay,” she said.  “Try typing.”

I unlocked my Tablet, clicked into a new document, and began to type.  I was elated to see words begin to appear on the screen.  I had been derailed in my writing that day, but in that moment, there was such sweet victory.

It reminded me of a time nearly four years in the past.  I had been battling through severe allergies that made it hard to breathe and sing.  I had been living my life with this idea that my voice was the only thing of value I had to offer to this world.  I was already blind, so I had to count on something I could do well and that was singing.  But when my voice was stripped from me, I cried out in confusion and fear.  I couldn’t lose my voice; that was my identity and purpose for life.  I was derailed and left without direction.  You might say, I was facing some real-life corrosion— a corrosion of the heart and soul.

You see, I was under the impression that I was losing my voice and my purpose, when in fact it was really His voice and His purpose.  It wasn’t until I gave my voice and my desires over to Him that I began to feel physical relief.  He wanted all of me, completely devoted to Him before He could begin the restoration process.  Much like Betty Jo and her electronic cleaner, Jesus came inside my heart and began to clean out the pride and selfishness that had driven me down into the abyss of sickness and despair.  When I began to see my voice as His instrument, I was drawn into worship with heightened passion.  I found myself leading corporately and finding a new purpose for this gift of music that God had brought into my life.  I was no longer derailed but set on the right path.  Although I would not wish those eighteen months of gut-wrenching pain on anyone, I would not trade the lessons I learned in the process.  I needed to come to the end of myself before I could move forward.

As for my computer, I am starting to move forward there as well.  I have just finished getting the settings customized and making sure I have everything I need.  I will be good to go for awhile.  But should I ever be without a computer again, a wireless keyboard is sure to work just fine.

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