Monday, February 4, 2008

troubleshooting life

My friend Chris is amazing with computers. Much like a doctor with a disease, he looks at the symptoms and searches for the underlying cause. There are very few issues that he can't seem to fix. Granted there are the occasional miraculous computer recoveries that he can't take credit for. For example, my old ipod was pretty much dead, and I had come to accept this unfortunate event. However, I really wanted to try and recover all the music I had on it, as I used my ipod as my music storage so as not to overwhelm my laptop's hard drive space. Meaning, most of the information on my ipod was not backed up elsewhere. He did his normal Chris thing, and researched the product (he's not a fan of apple, so he sought out other people's opinions). After he found out common issues and troubleshooting computer stuff and what not (I am not a computer person, and I'm sure there are technical words for stuff and what not). Needless to say, after all that work, the ipod was unresponsive. We closed it up and called it quits, but then the miracle. we plugged it into the computer one last time, and there it was all of the information, all of my music waiting to be copied and saved. Neither of us could explain what happened, it was merely a technological miricle. We quickly copied the info, went out and bought a new ipod and transfered all of the music back to my new ipod.

Unfortunatly not all computer's Chris has attempted to fix had happy or miraculous endings. A friend of ours, AnnE, has a computer that never ceases to remind Chris that he is not God, even when it comes to maters of computing. He can merely treat the symptom and hope that it lasts long enough for AnnE to do what she needs before something goes wonkey again. I believe he also had to retire a few of his sister's computers and his.

Another thing that should be noted - computers come with servicing manuals, specific to the brand, and design in of the computer. In my last computer befuddlement, my laptop had to be opened up and taken apart, piece by piece, to get to the fan, which seemed to be working below optimal standards (in normal speak, my computer was being noisy and overheating). Chris, being the wise person that he is, and probably by previous experience, took apart the computer with pen and paper, and manual at hand - labeling each area and screw to ensure that they made it safely back in their correct place. When he got to the fan, we found the source of the noise and overheating - a large amount of dust and grime had made it's home there. After we cleaned out the dust, Chris went to work putting my laptop back together, following the manual, specific to my laptop, that he had downloaded in the beginning of the process. The end result - cool, quiet laptop that stopped complaining (for the most part).

I wish it was that easy, rather logical, in regards to troubleshooting life. It doesn't come with a brand name, model specific manual, nor does it have a user-friendly customer service hotline. Now the response to that, which I would hear some Christian say, would be, "Oh the Bible is our life manual, and God is the "user-friendly customer service hotline." Well, I believe there are lots of encouraging words and guidelines in the Bible that life can be lived by, and God is always there, but let's be honest (or at least this is how I feel), The Bible can be cryptic, and God can be just as hard to understand. Today I don't want the "you just have to be more in touch with Jesus" response or the everpresent "dig deeper." Have you ever been there? Life just doesn't seem to lend itself to logical means or explaination. Like my ipod that had the unexplainable "healing" or AnnE's computer that can't be diagnosed beyond it's symptoms, life doesn't follow the manual.

This past week I felt and continue to feel like AnnE's computer. I see the symptoms, but I can't quite figure out what exactly is going on. I make steps to diagnose and treat, yet it doesn't seem to get the right results.

This I will leave unfinished for the time being...

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