About sixteen months ago, I bought my first laptop, a COMPAQ CQ60-422DX Notebook. It took some time to get used to but there are so many advantages to being able to take your computer with you. Recently, however, my laptop had slowed to a crawl. I have no expertise in the technology arena so on Wednesday, I took it to some folks who know alot more than I do. I went to our church building and found Steve Lehman, our youth minister, and Sam Rapp, our Elder on staff. I explained the situation and they took it on as a project. When I returned several hours later, Sam told me he had run several programs on it and that these programs had removed 15,000 mgs of temporary files. I've absolutely no idea what that means but I know this: when I took it home and plugged it in, my COMPAQ CQ60-422DX ran with the same speed it had when I purchased it. I was amazed and thanked Sam and Steve profusely for their help. It's like my computer has a new life.
It's so easy to get bogged down with stuff we don't need. I can't explain how those temporary files got in there but they did. Sam and Steve pointed out some habits causing me problems, particularly, not signing out of FACEBOOK and leaving my laptop on for long stretches when it's not in use. I've done better but it's only been two days and the jury just began deliberating on the forces of habit which dominate my existence. Last summer on my mission to China, I spent a week in Beijing with friends before heading to an orphanage in Hunan Province. As I was preparing for my twenty-one hour train ride to be followed by a three hour bus ride to be followed by a thirty minute taxi ride, my hosts, the Langleys, had some advice for me. David told me I would never be able to navigate the train stations and bus station with my suitcases so he loaned me a large backpack, the kind you would take hiking. It held quite a bit but not as much as my suitcases. I began the painful process of discarding items I had so carefully packed in the US and considered indispensable. Reaching the backpack's capacity, I was sure I would never make it with just what I was taking on the next step of the journey. Of course, I did just fine and ended up being grateful for not being encumbered with more luggage and weight.
My dad used to describe my lifestyle as minimalist but I'm not so sure. In Mark 4, the Parable of The Sower/Soils, Jesus vocalizes what happens to the seed falling into the thorns:
18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
I don't consider myself worldly or greedy as Jesus speaks about here but I do want the stuff in my suitcase to go with me even though it can bog me down. You think I would instantly learn a lesson from the laptop but I'm a slow and stubborn learner. My laptop runs so much better now that those files weighing it down were removed: it's almost as good as new! Now I just need to get rid of the things visible to the naked eye which tends to be a little more difficult. I want them! I need them! I can't live without them! Until I have to live without them and then, of course I can. It's just hard making those decisions by myself.
Applicable quote of the day:"I work on a laptop specifically so I can work in cafes and pretend I'm part of the human world."
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