The Gift of Incompetence

Peace Like a River
Peace Like a River

This has been a week of severe testing. I got a new computer.

I had to hot-wire my old one to get it started and the speaker jack only worked if I spoke to it very kindly reinserting the plug, honestly, up to fifty times to find the magic connection, then taping it there quickly before it disconnected again. Like an old person who complains you never come to visit them (when you just spent the whole day sorting their mail) and who speaks only of the past, its memory was not accepting new information or keep up with the times. It took frequent naps in the middle of our conversations.

My husband bought me a new one. Together with his nephew they worked all summer to put together a super-duper package with graphics boards and memory capacity beyond anything I’ve known before. It’s fantastic.

I just don’t know how to use it.

The new updated programs they put on don’t look anything like the old ones. I don’t recognize this Photoshop. My songs written in Finale have pretty little hearts all over the clefs instead of notes. My poetry and articles and collection of quotes and blog ideas are all on a drive in the country somewhere and my photos open in a window with a strange vista I’ve never seen before. Apparently my email is disavowing all knowledge of me as well. My bookmarks have disappeared, my iTunes is gone and I am forced to recall all my passwords. For a technophobe this week has been a nightmare. I feel so incompetent.

I lost my peace there for a while. I tend to take it out on my poor husband and blame him for inventing the computer, but he loves me and has my best interest at heart. He sees greater potential for the things I have been using a computer for than I do sometimes. (His generosity is astounding. He also bought me a new camera this summer after I dropped my old one.) I keep having to ask for his help, and sometimes, like the good teacher he is, he just tells me to go away and play around with it until I figure it out myself. (Grrr)

I was belly-aching to my daughter (who is a professional photographer and who promised to teach me how to use the professional level Photoshop) and she reminded me, “Give thanks in everything, Mom. It’s the way back to peace.”

She gives good advice. As I adjust my attitude to thankfulness and rejoicing I am beginning to see how this new computer is going to be such a blessing.  But it’s like getting a promotion that requires a period of adjustment and leaves me feeling vulnerable. The panic has started to subside, and I’m becoming a little more reasonable and able to figure things out a bit.

God uses our weaknesses better than our strengths, sometimes, because when we feel most incompetent we are most willing to ask for and  listen to his advice.  It’s a good thing.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-17)

And I figured out how to process a photo I took down by the river this week into a black and white version using the new computer and a new program. God is good.

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