Two times this week I’ve had to have a computer expert take remote control of my home computer. I’ve used Word 2002 for all of my writing, and it seems that Windows recently pulled the plug on all support to Word products older than 2003. This means that while my program works fine for me at home, it no longer transmits properly through cyberspace. This is a dire problem! I needed to install Office 2010 on my 4-year-old Dell computer, so at the same time I decided to upgrade my trouble-ridden Vista to Windows 7. This is where the problem began.
Vista, you see, has been nothing but a headache from the very beginning. It stops all sorts of programs, performing like a cosmic bully guarding the clubhouse door. When I recently set up a wireless router for our home, Vista wouldn’t allow NetGear to access its own software. I had to use my 10-year-old Gateway (running Windows XP) to set up the router. It is a terrible shame that the elderly computer could easily do what the Vista WOULD NOT. Same thing with Windows 7. Vista stubbornly resisted the upgrade. I finally called Microsoft, who stood behind their product, I’m happy to say. Their expert technician took remote control of my computer, worked around the offending watchdog (Vista), and then transformed it into a beautiful friend (Windows 7). Wah-lah!
It was a strange comfort knowing that the Microsoft technician was skillfully navigating the intricacies of their own programming, while I turned my attention to teaching a piano student. After all the times I have had to work on snags in our computers, it was purely wonderful to have a professional handling the troubles, at no added expense to me. It was a load off my mind!
Yesterday, however, a virus attached itself to our new Internet Explorer. It may have taken control while Microsoft was performing its upgrades online, before we were allowed to re-activate McAfee, but I’m not sure. It also disarmed our fire wall (which I had carefully reset once the Windows 7 upgrade was complete) and it disabled the McAfee from running scans. Through a live-chat session with a guy named Mohammed from McAfee, he took remote control of my computer to go in and delete the virus, reset Internet Explorer, and then re-install McAfee. I was relieved to have his help.
This has reminded me of the importance of continually returning to the One who is the expert for my life: God. He is the one who knows the way I am designed, inside and out, and He also knows exactly where my own snags are housed. He knows where I still run faulty programming, and where my stubborn, bull-doggish self still asserts its own way. He knows exactly how to work around these issues, from the inside, to transform them into something beautiful and fruitful, if I will only give Him remote access. When I surrender the control to Him, and submit to His re-programming, I am gradually transformed into something much better and stronger.
Like Internet Explorer’s virus, I can easily become infected by destructive thoughts, habits, and feelings. How easy it is to let my firewall down, through a lack of Bible study, time alone in prayer and reflection with God, or through allowing the wrong sorts of influences into my life. My natural self might prefer to block God’s sin-scanning processes, but my spiritual self desires for God’s life to overtake my natural life. When I humbly submit to His purging and purifying processes, He wipes my inner slate clean and gives me a fresh start. I remain loved by God, and accepted by Him, even when these faulty or destructive ways are running in my inner currents. His abundant life, however, is not able to run freely through me when I allow these other patterns of thought and habits to continue. I want His abundant life to course through all the pieces and parts of me- mind, heart, spirit, and body. That said, I am thoroughly grateful that my Master Technician is fully willing, capable, and ready to take control again, whenever I submit to Him.
I will have more computer snarls in the future, and I will have more faulty inner wiring on the inside of me. But I am so thankful that my Designer, my Father, has His own virus-protection programs running in me through the indwelling Holy Spirit. I can rest easy, knowing that He will alert me to the dangerous predators, and He knows full well how to counter my own stubborn defensiveness. For now my computer, and my inner life, is running cleaner and brighter.