Reflections of Ourselves

Paradigm Shift

My husband has a saying on the days that hit him hard.  The days that interrupt his optimism.  The days that stop all forward movement dead in its tracks and it’s as if that spinning colored wheel every Mac user has seen, rears its ugly head.  CONTROL-ALT-DELETE.  Reboot, Reset.

I recently saw a cute video showing the reaction of kids born in the 90’s trying to operate a computer using Windows 95 Operating System.

It was cute. And reminded me of days gone by, and how patient we used to have to be with our computers.  They were clunky, slow, aggravating creatures.  I think I had to reboot my 1990’s era Dells at least 2 or 3 times per day.  If I tried doing too many things at once or too quickly it would jam the computer’s brain.  They had to be treated with kid gloves.  Coddled almost.  Because you never knew what would shut it down leaving 2 hours worth of work in the ether of time forever lost because you failed to hit SAVE before the crash.

And it got me thinking about human beings and how we operate.  What system do we operate under?  Is it the most efficient?  Is it the most stable?  How often do we need to reboot and reset our days?

If I asked any of you reading this article if you would go back to the days of Windows 95 on your computer vs holding your smart phone and streaming music, while looking up facts on a website, while taking to your friends over text, not missing an email, and automatically saving photos and documents in the cloud of your choice…I have a feeling ZERO of you would go back in time to those “good ol’ days.”

It leads me to conclude that the system we operate in matters.  It effects many things in our life.  It either hinders or frees up our time.  It either drags us down or builds us up physically.  It either corrodes our spirit or cleanses it.

My question to you is this.  How long has it been since you’ve taken a good hard look at your OS?

This weekend I listened as my husband spoke to a colleague about the digital world and all its complexities.  He said, “C# is the language.  It’s like Java, or PHP, or Ruby or SQL.  It’s how you tell the computer what to do or how to function.  HTML or HTML 5 is sort of the same but its main purpose is to tell the computer how to take all that data and make it understandable to the layman…in other words how to dress it up and make it look good.  It takes a good language and a good design.  Function and form.

If all these things work well together, the end result is a well oiled machine that works as you expect with little if no downtime due to crashes.

I will never forget the last Dell computer I purchased.  It was in the early 2000’s.  The first time I booted it up, I had to wade through 10-15 pre-loaded software decisions to either keep or delete from the system. (talk about a drain on my time!) If I chose to keep them, they then had to be updated.  The anti-virus software alone was so PRESENT that I could barely function at all without having to approve my every move.(what a drag!) From day one, the computer never shut down properly.  From day one I had to use the KILL switch to get it to turn off (what a downer to my spirit!)  That was my last PC.  I made the decision to toss out the whole shebang and went Mac and have never gone back.

Arguments between PC and Mac aside…for they were used for merely illustrative purposes (sorta kidding, not really).

If you think the meaning and purpose in life is to be successful in the world; to live in a big house, be able to buy anything you want, have people at your beck and call, and get whatever you want….is it working out well for you?

When has a material possession given you more joy than for a short amount of time? When has the adulation of others ever given you sustained joy?  And how long does it take when getting everything you want suddenly seems pointless and empty?

For that matter…it comes down to this question and this question alone.  What GIVES VALUE?

Does God give you your value because He gave you LIFE?  Or do you give yourself value based on your accomplishment?

A band called Altogether Separate wrote a hit song called Paradigm.

A “paradigm shift” is a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.  Here is the video:

The lyrics describe what happens when a person decides to trust God with their lives.

Everybody loves a rose,
but will you be thankful for the thorns?
Love is easy when you’re loved,
But do you curse another when you’re alone?…
Oooooh, I give my life to You
so I can gain it back again
Oooooh, I stand solid
while the paradigm is shifting…

Is it possible to stand solid while you’re paradigm is shifting?  As the music together with the lyrics suggest…it often times means to change almost everything about the way you once viewed life and the world.  OOOOH…you have to HANG ON.  Things are shifting, calculations, data, design…everything…is SHIFTING….

Instead of holding on to what doesn’t work and rebooting and resetting over and over again…often repeating self-destructive patterns that hurt yourself and those around you.  I suggest you try a new approach.  Give it all away.  Let it go.  Allow what hasn’t been working for years to be replaced with a fresh new approach to life.  Try it.  See if it works better than what you’ve been doing.

Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that you may have life and have it more abundantly.”

Jesus doesn’t want us to live our lives limping along barely functioning.  The viruses of life that destroy, kill, and steal our joy, time, and love have NO PLACE being tolerated in our operating systems.  He wants us to live an abundant and fruitful life.  Bearing the fruits of the spirit which are first LOVE above all else, then Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.  If you have these things in abundance in your life …count your life well lived.

So on the days that are hard, I suggest this:  perhaps instead of shutting down, thank God for building the fruit of the spirit that is PATIENCE.  When you have opportunity to give your talents to others thank God for the opportunity to grow in KINDNESS and GOODNESS.  When you are faced with a temptation, instead of cursing or giving in to it, exercise the strength that builds the fruit of SELF-CONTROL.  In everything, even in your trials, look for what God is building in you…realize that success in this world won’t mean anything to God.  Your heart means everything to Him.  What he wants you to have more abundantly is JOY no matter what your circumstance.

A STABLE SYSTEM in life is built on FAITH.

James says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

What if you take that step of faith and believe God at His Word to do what he says He will do?  What if you allow that paradigm to shift.  You take that step…GIVE YOUR LIFE TO HIM….and when you boot up that new Operating System maybe everything will be more stable, work more efficiently, be smoother, and allow you to experience a more abundant life?

What if that could work?  I guarantee if you jump in with both feet you will look back on your old life as if you’d been trying to function in Windows 95.  You’ll never want to go back.  Ever.

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