New. Sort of.

I have a new laptop. Well, new to me, as it once belonged to my daughter before the hard drive blew up, causing the loss of a multitude of pictures, information and subsequently, dollars when she replaced it with a Mac. Wanting one computer for work and one for the rest of everything in my life, I decided rescue it from the trash, and replace the drive so here I sit, with the technological equivalent of a clean slate.

It's odd to have a computer that looks almost exactly like your old one, only to find it empty of everything familiar. Click the favorites-empty. Click My pictures-empty. Click Documents-empty. It is as if all the points of reference in my life have been removed, the landmarks gone, like when someone cuts down the tree on the corner that you always included in your directions so people could find your house.

The first thing I did on this computer was get some Internet going, because I was afraid something would happen in the universe and I wouldn't know it. It was here that I really noticed the absence of the familiar. I have a ridiculous amount of websites bookmarked, and because of the aforementioned concern about the universe, I check them a lot. To open a computer, click the favorites and start reading is so routine to me I don't even decide what to read, I just click, read, click, read. So when I clicked and saw nothing, I heard the sound of screeching brakes in my head. What?!? What had been there? Where do I start?

So I began to google a few news sites and bookmark them and as I went along an interesting thing happened-I had the random thought that I didn't really want to read that. Or that, or that either. Then I tried to remember some blogs I read regularly, and I realized I didn't really want to read that, or that, or that either. When I had to stop and think, then type the name into the search engine before clicking a link to read it, I found I had no real desire to read a multitude of things that before this clean slate, I read every day. Every stinkin' day. EVERY day.

Here I should insert some deeply spiritual application making several references to scripture and give an exhortation but you know what? I got nothing. Well, I've got this. Obviously, there is stuff we do everyday where we really don't think through our choices. We just do things by rote.You know, a good portion of those bookmarks are things that pertain to the Christian faith. They are what's good about the Internet, Biblical, informational, profitable reading. But are they the right choice for this morning, or at all? I don't know, I don't think about it, I just click and read, click and read.

Sometimes it takes a clean slate to see the wide open vistas of our choices. A blank calendar page. An empty refrigerator. No Favorites. What will you fill your clean slate with? Don't make a knee jerk statement here, like a vacation, chocolate cake and YouTube. "Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established." (Proverbs 4:26) Thinking, free will, the ability to choose, these are all amazing gifts from God, and with the gift comes opportunity to use it or lose it. Think or don't think. Choose, or by default, let your choices be made for you, especially those that concern what influences you. Act, or react, thoughtfully and prayerfully or with that uncontrollable reflex like when the doctor whacks your knee with the little hammer. The choice is really mine. Yours.

I'm leaving my favorites empty.


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