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On Saturday night, my laptop succumbed to a malicious virus. After an hour of trying to identify it, delete it, and in the end, merely hoping that the computer would boot up and recognise who it was, I gave up. The sneaky bug had made its way into the registry and the poor machine didn't even know how to do something as basic as turn on. Fortunately, I had done a back-up a few days ago and all my writing and photos and contacts were safe on an external hard drive. Nevertheless, I felt stupid and helpless and wondered how I had let myself get into this predicament. I am usually very careful what sites I access and what I click on, but even though I tried to say no to all the pop-ups I got hit with after I went to a site I had not been to before, I now know that even clicking on the "No, thank you" button is an acknowledgement of some sort. Sigh.

I went to a computer store to see what they could do for me and they recommended wiping the hard drive clean and starting over. Sigh number two. I must admit that I was not excited by the idea of beginning again. Too much work. A waste of precious time. And just to get back to where I was before this fiasco. But that's a really cynical and pretty inaccurate way of looking at things.

I said, God, this is such a pain. He said, I like fresh starts. They are not a waste of time, according to him. And far from just bringing me right back to where I left off, they offer me a chance to get on a new trajectory. I can upgrade, I can streamline, I can consolidate and improve and make better-informed decisions. They give me a chance to build a stronger foundation by getting rid of all the unnecessary programs and add-ons that were cluttering up my operating system and keeping me from performing at my peak. They make me look at what I really want to keep and what is just a distraction. They give me a chance to stop, take a breath, and rest from the endless churning of information that goes through my mind without giving it a moment's pause. How many times do I wish I could have a "do-over" and never get it? Well, a do-over just got dropped into my lap. How foolish of me not to take full advantage of it.

Every morning is a sort of "do-over" if you think about it. We begin a new day in which we will work, think, move, interact, decide things, play, speak, and make our mark on this world. And it never has to be the way it was the day before. We can start off on any foundation that we choose. Before our feet hit the floor, while we are still lying in bed, we can decide which operating system we are going to run on. My own or God's? Will I press the help button often, asking God to be my partner in this day, or will I let igoogle dictate my options based on previous preferences?

I hope to get my squeaky clean laptop back tonight. I am now looking forward to putting only the best stuff back on the hard drive. I definitely want to be more discriminating in what I let into my life, my mind, my soul, my eyes, and my computer in the future.

Thanks to the Good Samaritan (Dean's friend at work) for saving my computer from utter ruin. This was posted from an old but trusty laptop usually reserved for church office work.

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