Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lessons From My Computer

It is amazing how our culture has been impacted by computers. I confess, again, that I am a techno-dummy, but I still find myself spending a huge percentage of my day looking at a computer screen. It has added words to our vocabulary, gone from a neat toy to a necessity, and changed the way we communicate. With all the texting, emailing, blogging, Facebooking, and the many other forms of typed communication used worldwide, you would think that we have improved our communication skills, deepened our relationships, and become a much more understanding society. Wrong. Like a lot of tools, computer communication just amplifies what we already are. We choose whether or not it is a vehicle for good or evil.
The other day, however, my computer presented me with a visual illustration of what I've been teaching and preach for the last couple of years. When I clicked on the Internet icon, to bring it up on the screen, I noticed the little flashing word in the upper left corner for the first time. It flashed "connecting" over and over again until the Internet page came up. The first step in our plan for the spiritual growth of each member of our church family is Connecting. If we are going to build spiritual relationships with one another and with God, we MUST first connect. It has to start somewhere.
That made me think of our second step, Caring. A relationship will only grow if we care about one another. Loving one another is the heart & soul of what Jesus called us to do. When I've been connected by my computer to whatever I've chosen to be connected to, I only stay there if I care about it. I often click on things that might interest me or help me, and I decide it's not what I want or need - so I click to something else. Nothing lasts if you don't care about it - especially relationships.
And then there are the things that I'm really committed to. They are things I'm connected to that I care so much about that they're on my "Favorites" list and I check on them daily. Our third step of Commitment is the natural next step when you care deeply about someone or something. It is why you are happy to serve, sacrifice, and share.
All growing relationships go through the same process. You connect, begin caring, and it builds commitment. Whether it's friends, spouses, brethren, or God, if it's going to deepen as a relationship, it will follow the same path. Even computers know that.

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