An Operating System is the software that makes your computer work. MS-Dos, Windows 3.1, 95, 98,98SE, NT, ME, 2000, XP, Linux, Mac, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8… it seems like almost every time we turn around we need to learn some new tricks just to get our computers to do what we want them to. Most recently many of us may have been encouraged (forced) to update to Windows 10. In many ways it doesn’t appear that different from how the last version worked… except of course that many of the commands, program shortcuts, and important icons are stored in new and seemingly harder to find locations. While searching for the now hidden commands to turn the computer off and open the control panel, I began to reflect on all the change I’ve seen in hardware and software. As long as we want to work with the latest hardware we are forced to keep changing our software. While most of the changes are improvements, it seems like some of the changes in style and appearance have been made just to make sure we can still learn something new.
Tired of searching for where they hid the commands, it occurred to me that there may be a spiritual lesson here – at least one of contrast. Like the endless chase for newer and more powerful programs –the Christian life requires constant spiritual growth and change. But unlike the evolution of operating systems that requires a constant learning of new commands or “rules,” the Christian life requires ongoing education and spiritual discipline so that we can master and live an operating system that needs no updating and replacement. As a Christian, I am still learning and growing spiritually – but I do not need a new and improved Bible or Lord. Sure, a new translation can help us understand something new and open our eyes to fresh insights, but God’s Word, like our Lord, remains unchanged and unchanging. Christian devotional writings can be very useful and encouraging, but if they change the basic message of God’s Word, keep away from them.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that the challenge to grow in the Christian faith doesn’t depend on the latest gimmick, but rather on our commitment to very tried and true tools to improve our discipleship. Worship, study, fellowship, prayer, stewardship, and service are the building blocks that lead to a balanced and healthy faith; it has been that way for centuries and will be for centuries to come.
While our faith may seem complex and confusing at times, I am very thankful that Microsoft (or the various other purveyors of computer operating systems) isn’t in charge of it. When it comes to faith, the bottom line is that if you want your life to work – listen to God. God’s support line has no equals.
Now if I can only figure out how to save this column…. David Hunter