What Took Me So Long
I didn’t want a MAC computer. I never had and felt like I never would. I’d been a PC girl as long as I could remember and although I knew that my hardware was more susceptible to viruses and that an Apple computer had been dubbed “user friendly”, I still wasn’t warming up to the idea. I didn’t need all the fancy techno-programs that it offered. For writing books, preparing messages and sending the occasional email, my PC was just perfect for a technologically challenged girl like myself. The new and improved scared me.
It was 2007 and my husband had been trying to persuade me to cross over for years. He’d bought a one-way ticket into Apple land a few years prior and had no intention of ever returning. After that, every time I needed a new computer, I watched my technologically spellbound husband’s eyes light up with sheer glee at the prospect of invading a computer store and coming home with a prize for his wife. Each time he had triumphantly returned with a new shiny MAC computer. (The only time I’d ever see him look more proud was when he brought his three boys home from the hospital, but the difference was slight.) Each triumphal entry was cut short by my disapproving nod and my insistence that he return that piece of alien hardware immediately and come back home with a sensible PC.
I didn’t know what more I had to do to get him to see that I really didn’t want a MAC. I didn’t have anything against it. It wasn’t personal. Even though everyone I knew who had switched over to this insanely successful line of computers assured me that the learning curve was nothing to be compared with the sheer joy they’d experienced in using it, I was still adverse to change. I knew that they were good computers but I was settled and at ease with what I had. I’d learned where every little button that I most needed to use was located. Toggling from one program to the other on my old trusty format was mindless work for me now. I’d grown used to Bill Gates’ inventions as they were compatible with this type of hardware. I was happy.
But Jerry wasn’t.
He wanted me to move forward into the 21st century with him. So when my perfectly good, completely wonderful PC was broken by my three year old while jumping off of my bed onto the screen during a family pillow fight, Jerry saw yet another opportunity to accomplish his goal. I should have known that something was awry the day he left the house telling me he just needed to run a quick errand and would return home soon. There was a skip in his step and a glimmer in his eye that should have given me a clue about his misguided intentions. And sure enough, upon his return, I saw a bright white and silver bag with a drawstring for handles. I didn’t think much about it but when I leaned over later that night to give him a goodnight kiss, I saw it in his eyes. His pupils had metamorphosed into the shape of apples. I’d found him out, but it was too late; he’d already bought me a brand new shiny Macbook.
Have I already mentioned that I didn’t want one?
Five years have past since that night and it’s clear that Jerry won me over. I’m typing this article from my 2nd Macbook and I can’t imagine using anything else. He assured me that if I’d just give it 30 days I’d be hooked and he was right. Turns out the transition took some time to master but it was indeed worth it. Now, I can’t help but wonder: What took me so long?
“I’ve come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
It’s not that the religious leaders to whom the Messiah spoke these words didn’t have some sort of life already. Indeed, they did. These were the reputable “high society” folks with loyal followers and admirers. Despite this, Jesus looked them squarely in the face of their seemingly satisfying, religiously focused existence and basically said, “You could have better”. Jesus offered them a more enhanced version of life as they knew it. He had come to set up a new standard of excellent, full, complete living. He invaded the scene of the Middle Eastern land of Palestine with all of the vengeance of a revolutionary, proclaiming with boldness that he’d come to deliver a better way for all.
He Himself was the better way.
If they would just put down the ways they had grown comfortable with, He would give them something that would require a little transition time but would be well worth the cost of the change.
Some listened; most didn’t.
Some engaged; most recoiled.
Some accepted the invitation; others settled for the comfort and ease of normalcy.
So the Pharisees went on for years living a regular, normal, malnourished version of life. Bogged down with the internal viruses of sin and the shame that always flank it. Plagued with a need to “do” more to gain acceptance and divine approval, they forewent abundance and a fullness of spirit that would overflow and flood their everyday living. Worst of all, they thought that their version of life was superior to anything that could be offered to them. They were blind to their own great need.
Jesus knew exactly what my husband knew; sometimes change is the best thing for you:
I’ve come into this world so that those who are blind (unaware of their spiritual need) can begin to see clearly and live abundantly by accepting my invitation. And that those, like you, who think they can see (pridefully think they are self-sufficient) may become blind and needy.” [paraphrase of John 9:39]
He offered a techno-colored existence with spiritual sight to see that which was not visible, hear that which is not audible, and believe that which is truly unbelievable. It was and still is an invitation to live beyond ourselves and an offer of an indwelling Spirit that came bearing gifts (1 Cor. 12), and as if that weren’t kind enough, fruit (Gal. 5). This kind of living was different and would take some time getting used to but it would be worth it.
They should have listened.
So should we.
Maybe it’s time for us to courageously set aside the ordinary for the extraordinary. It’ll be different – this new life led to the Spirit, walking in obedience, expecting the miraculous and operating by His power but it will be worth it. Why not just give it 30 days before you decide it’s too charismatic for your tastes. Open yourself up to an experiential relationship with Lord through the Holy Spirit that will set the dry bones of your lack-luster religious life to dancing for joy.
Abundant living, by God’ Spirit, is too good an offer to pass up.
Just try it. I know you’ll like it.
And pretty soon, you’ll be trying to figure out what took you so long in the first place.