“… Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
- John 21:18
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.
- Exodus 13:17-18
When they reached the district of Zuph, Saul said to the servant who was with him, “Come, let’s go back, or my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying about us.”
- 1 Samuel 9:5
Three vastly different Scriptures. I wonder how I will tie them together, but here goes.
I am getting a rather late start on writing this morning. There were several reasons for the delay, but the primary one was that my computer went through an update last night. I clicked the upgrade and shutdown option. Note to self: no matter how long it takes, do the Upgrade and Restart option. It took me over 20 minutes this morning before a mouse click or key stroke was accepted.
I can understand, to some extent. How would you like it to have someone force you into thinking like Immanuel Kant and then the next day, they force you into the mind of Kierkegaard or John Locke or Aristotle? Please no! Never Nietzsche or Berkeley. That would be too much. But here, on a regular basis, the software must change, although I have no idea why. And I have a delay in getting started.
Frankly, computers are stupid. They do not think. Artificial Intelligence can fake Aristotle or Kierkegaard responses, but a computer can never think. It can never have consciousness. And if the programming is in error, it is GIGO. For those who do not program computers, GIGO means “Garbage In, Garbage Out.” In other words, if the programming or the date that is entered is in error, you get a wrong response. The computer only does as told. It cannot respond to what you thought you told it to do.
So we are stuck with programmers who make mistakes. They are human, but when they fix their mistakes, someone gets the bright idea of making something else better. What if we liked it the old way?!?! Forget that; this is “better.” But then they make mistakes in “better” and they subject us to another computer software update.
When I pressed the mouse button last night to turn off the computer, I wondered if it would be fairly painless, or if it would be like how Peter felt when Jesus hinted that Peter would follow Jesus by dying on the cross? Not as bad as that, but I did not really want the upgrade. I did not wish to click that button. But the sluggishness in the computer performance the day before was explained – downloading all the files to perform the update/upgrade that I really did not want or need.
The Israelites were dressed for battle, but God knew that they were weak. He sent them into a trap along the Red Sea, a trap until God performed a miracle. But God knew their hearts. He knew that they would not fight for their freedom. They would prefer slavery to battle. Robert Burns’ song, Scots Wha Hae, talks of choosing between slavery and victory or doing or dying. With Israel, God knew they would choose slavery. They were a large group of people, but they were no nation.
God knew they would change their minds and return to Egypt, but once they crossed the Red Sea, eventually, there was this huge sea that prevented them from going back once the first battle raged.
So, I sit here wondering what screwy thing the programmers did to my computer software. What is not going to work the way I wish for it to work? I may want to go back to the way it was before, but there is a large “sea” in the way.
So, I muddle through, as if I am looking for my father’s donkeys. Or maybe I am the donkey myself? Instead of looking toward Jesus, I am telling my invisible companion, with my wife at dialysis, that we need to start thinking about ourselves. And no, I do not think that my invisible companion is about to suggest that I go see a holy man and get anointed king of all Israel. That, on the face of it, is so bizarre, it is no wonder that Saul made a lousy king of Israel. He looks for donkeys. He cannot find donkeys. He becomes selfish, wanting only comfort for himself. And he stumbles, against his better judgment, into the presence of Samuel to get anointed king. As the saying goes, What’s up with THAT!?!
But whether I got to this point by my own selfishness or if God directed me here, I am here.
The computer may turn on and quickly response to my requests … tomorrow. And I can look forward to another bout of computer software updates next month.
It is the greatest thing in all the universe that God does not change, and He never needs an update. He’s perfect to start with.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.