God is always there; operator error is often the issue

Published 9:19 am Friday, November 15, 2013

By the Rev. Cherie Daniel
Freeborn Congregational United Church of Christ in Freeborn, Alden United Methodist Church and Grace United Methodist Church in Kiester

My motherboard is dead.

Inside the tower of my home desktop computer, the motherboard is done for. If you have a computer of your own, you know how bad this is. This is total. This is it. There is no more. And so, back to the computer store I go to find a new one. Of course, it will not speak the same language that my current one did. The desktop scene will be different. Processes will be accessed via different routines. Formatting on my old files (accessible, thanks to dropbox backup sites) will be changed — just a little, just enough to make me growl every time I think I’ve got something finished.

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It happened a little at a time, actually. First, I had a difficult time finding certain files. That should be easy — they should be just where I left them — but some got posted to my documents folder and others did not. (Did I mention how thankful I am for the dropbox backup?) And then last weekend after printing out a pretty document with great satisfaction, I tried to move on to the next project, and all I could get was a blue screen. That means that the computer won’t send anything to the video screen, so even though all my “stuff” is in there, I can’t see it.

So I disassembled all the wires and cords connecting my tower to its various outposts and took it in to the local guy to be fixed. Actually, I got instructions from my computer-genius son about fixing it myself, but I failed at step No. 1 of about 26 steps, so I did go to the local guy. He verified that I had a problem. Again, actually, he described it as a big problem! Certainly something in the motherboard, but maybe just a little chip of it.

Upon further diagnosis: No. A really big problem. So, pack it up and off to see the computer genius son in person. (It also happens to be his birthday this week, so it’s a bonus for both of us.) He agrees, we need to take it to the big-box computer store where they have, as the tech behind the counter said, kajillions of dollars’ worth of special equipment to work with. They would find the problem.

They did. A kajillion dollars’ worth of diagnostic equipment confirms that the motherboard is dead.

So thank goodness I have a laptop! I can write the articles due for both the Albert Lea Tribune and the Wells Mirror this week. So, at 7 a.m. Tuesday I am up at ready to type — when the laptop won’t let me access the Internet. I can write all the articles I want to, but I can’t send them anywhere. The problem, according to the message on my computer screen is this: “Server Cannot Be Found.”

Yes, I am frustrated. And, yes, the folks at the newspapers are nervous that I’m not going to get this article to them before publication time. And woe to all if the cable service guy can’t get here in time this morning and swap out the old modem with a new one and get me back to the keyboard!

It all happened. It’s (except for that part about having to buy a new computer) all good.

Thank goodness that I never have these troubles when I want to talk with God! God’s motherboard is indestructible! God’s video chip sees all, hears all, knows all! God’s Internet connection is never inaccessible! I will admit that there have been times when I prayed without receiving the answer I expected when I wondered if God’s server was not found. Nope, operator error was usually the problem. I was asking the wrong questions, pushing the wrong buttons.

Thank goodness God is always ready to listen. And, if I think that the communication is down, I can always go to the owner’s manual. I can always find the answers I need in the Bible.

And so can you.