Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A "True" Test

(This is blog post #4 on a series looking at True Self/False self.  Click here to read #1, #2, and #3)

Two weeks ago at my daughter's 13th birthday party, I foolishly left my open computer sitting on the kitchen island while 11 girls helped themselves to pizza, cupcakes, soda and ice cream sundaes.  As one of Kai's friends poured herself a glass of water over my keyboard, in as calm a voice as I could muster so as not to startle her, I said, "Could you please pour that water just a step or two back?" 

She looked up at me, then down at my computer, and backed away slowly.  I snatched the Macbook, smiled, and said, "It's OK, it's just my life. . ."

According to Adele Calhoun, our spiritual director, the false self is composed of anything you can lose.  Your possessions, your job, your relationships, even your roles.  Some of us women wrestled with that concept.  If my kids die, will I no longer be a mother?

Well, today I'm facing perhaps one of the greatest challenges short of losing a child, family member or friend. 

My Mac has died.

It didn't die in a splash of water or with a cupcake smooshed into its keyboard.  It didn't die from falling out of my unzipped computer case (which happened 2.5 years ago).  It just died a quiet death sitting open while the family watched "The King's Speech" (the R rated version--totally worth it--unfortunately for my kids, no language in that movie that they haven't heard in our house!).

I bought a external hard drive about a year ago when a colleague's Mac died and she lost everything.  I've even been relatively good at backing up so I should have everything until a week ago Monday.  But I've heard that certain things don't back up, so I won't know everything I've lost until I visit the Apple store, buy a new computer and restore everything.

Last night, as I prepared for bed with a sick feeling in my gut, I thought about what I know is lost and the implications:
  • My journal musings from the spiritual retreat--but at least God heard and remembers my prayers
  • The budgets for my team and the pdfs I still haven't sent out--but at least my boss has a copy and pdfs aren't that challenging to make
  • The minutes from our Cana marriage ministry leadership time, including the colors I changed in the schedule--but at least there were 3 others there who hopefully took notes and remember what we decided.
  • Any appointments I scheduled in this past week--so sorry if I don't show up when you were expecting me!
Everything I wrote for this blog got posted.  I didn't write anything for my book or interview my parents.  I didn't create any new recipes.  I didn't download the pictures from the birthday party yet, so they're still on my camera.  And it's a sign of our family's privilege (and Scott's IT job) that we still have 2 functioning computers in the home--hence my ability to blog.

It's going to be a hassle figuring out what's gone and reconstructing how I want to compute in the future.  I've been trying to wean myself from Entourage--now may be the time.  And I could never get Quicken to balance our various banking accounts correctly (I know, I know, operator error!), so maybe we'll just start from scratch.

Turns out I didn't lose my life after all.


Ling said...

Actually, since ur always ragging on us about how we don't appreciate how privileged we are, we now have six computers in this family, not counting ur iPhone, dads iPhone, and the iPad. All of which u can basically use as computers. And speaking of which, this is sent from the iPad.

gr8god said...

i have been reading these posts with interest, kathy, and even responded to one in detail, only to have the comment disappear into the netherworld that is cyberspace. :-(

but you've got me thinking about this 'true self' business, and i wonder if we should be thinking about this teleologically. what i mean is that perhaps we should be focused on God's intention -- the person he is making us to be. that person, mysteriously more like Jesus and yet more like ourselves than we've ever been, is not really so much in question. s/he will be defined not by behavior nor by need, but by relationship to the triune God and his people -- the beloved of the Father, the redeemed of the Son and now joint-heir with him, full of his Spirit, reconciled and united with his body.

iow, the true you is not the rotten kathy or the self-aware, self-deprecating kathy, or even the generous, servant-hearted kathy, but the kathy who is welcomed into the intimate fellowship of the Godhead, the one who is already perfectly loved and being transformed by that love, even with regular stumbles. the true you is the one who, with God's help, continues to love, serve, and bless her children and husband, even with the periodic breaks from the lenten criticism fast.

i am confident of this -- that he who began a good work in you will complete it in the day of Christ Jesus. faithful is he who calls you, and he also will bring it to pass.

hope your good friday is a great reminder, not just of the price that God paid for bad kathy, but of his power to birth victory from defeat, good from evil, and life from death.