Staring at Windows…
Recently, I had a major computer malfunction, and my iMac G5 (which is a 2005 model) took a major dump. I was in a bind because I needed a computer for school, and I definitely didn’t have time to order parts or wait for the iMac to get repaired. So, I panicked, ran to Walmart, and bought a Samsung laptop running Windows 7. It sucked. Luckily, my brother was able to repair the Mac and I was able to return the Samsung for a full refund. You’d think that the moral of the story would be “buy Mac”, but there was a deeper lesson to be learned.
Just weeks before this computer malfunction, I was preparing to order a MacBook Pro because I wanted a laptop for school. We were working buttloads of overtime, and I planned on buying the laptop on overtime money without really effecting Christmas and regular expenses that would be coming up. Right before ordering, however, Honda experienced flooding in Thailand and business slowed to a halt. Our production was effected, and my overtime disappeared. I was happy to see it go, mind you, but I also couldn’t comfortably buy a laptop either…not without feeling guilty, anyway.
That wasn’t the only reason that I was feeling guilty about buying the laptop, anyhow. You see, something much deeper was also going on. In my Old Testament Survey class, we had an assignment that required long periods of prayer about Old Testament wisdom principles that we had applied to our life, and ones that we needed to apply to our lives. This period of prayer, along with a series of sermons on stewardship at church, led to conviction about my tithing, which, while existent, certainly isn’t 10% of what I make (especially on those big overtime weeks).
The conviction became directly linked with my selfish desire to buy the MacBook Pro, and I knew that, if I wasn’t willing to trust God with a proper tithe, then why did I think that I deserved such an expensive laptop? Especially since I have a computer, and the laptop, while it would be convenient, isn’t actually necessary. Needless to say, this combination stayed my clicking finger, and I didn’t order the Mac.
Life went on as usual, and I continued doing homework on the iMac that I already had, while planning how to slowly increase my tithe, and still planning on looking at my financial situation again in January to see if it might be feasible to get the MacBook then, instead. That would allow us to get Christmas out of the way, but still give me time to get it shipped before having to leave for Fanuc robot training for a week in Cincinnati, which I have to do in February. It seemed to me to be a pretty good plan, but God has a way of disrupting our plans, especially if he has a lesson that he needs to teach us.
Last weekend, I was off of work because I had to go to the Art Museum in Toledo for my Art Appreciation class on Saturday, and we were having a birthday party for Morgan after church on Sunday. Needless to say, with all that going on, I wasn’t sitting at my computer doing homework much over the weekend. I had vacation Monday, though, and was going to use the day to catch up. I needed to write a paper about the Museum trip, and had stuff for my Old Testament Survey class that needed to be done. I’m getting pretty close to the end of the semester, and, as such, I don’t really have a lot of time to waste regarding these assignments.
I sat down to do my Art homework when the unthinkable happened. My iMac died.
I didn’t really know what the deal was, but the hard drive was seemingly bad, and all attempts at a disc recovery were futile. I kept trying to repair the disc and permissions, but kept getting countless errors. I tried to archive install OS X 10.5, but it wouldn’t even recognize my hard drive as a place to install the operating system. I was dead in the water. I started frantically talking to my brother about the situation, even running back and forth to Walmart, where he was working, several times for advice. We weren’t able to get it running. That’s when I made an emergency purchase of a Samsung laptop running Windows 7.
The next day, I dropped my Mac off at my brother’s (he’s a bit of a Mac expert) to take a look at, and started doing all of my homework on the PC. The experience on the PC was terrible! I hadn’t used a Windows machine since XP, and I had expected some serious improvements with 7, but, alas, the machine ran like total garbage. It was so bad that I ended up resorting to my Droid 2 running Dolphin HD browser because it was faster than any browser I installed on the PC. Loading videos was especially atrocious, and I had a video lecture that I needed to watch for a class, and couldn’t on the PC without waiting for it to buffer for several minutes after just seconds of playtime, while being able to load on my phone using the same internet connection without problems. It was unacceptable.
Luckily, my brother fixed my iMac, and I was able to return the PC for a full refund since I only had it for 5 days. The lesson of the story: buy Mac! No, I’m kidding. What really happened here was that I realized that getting the second best, or leftovers (PC), is like getting nothing at all. If you don’t have the best (Mac), then what you have is unusable. When you give God just a little bit that you’re comfortable with, you might as well give him nothing at all. Like the PC, he won’t be able to use it to accomplish what is necessary. When you give him your best, however, you glorify him and further his Kingdom.
And yes, I did just use a PC as a metaphor for an improper tithe.