Jen’s Gem: Believe what God says about you.
This week, I wrapped up a few lingering chores from my move. Bins of papers were taken to Staples to be shredded. Pictures were “staged,” awaiting their permanent home on the walls. One last box was taken to Goodwill. All would appear to be well, except for the internet issues that continue to dog me.
I thought I had a solution last week. I tapped into my tres-techy friends who instructed me to go into the bowels of my computer, type in a few DOS commands (yeah, that’s old school!) and voila! Smooth sailing. I was whizzing around the web like Ken Miles on the Le Mans race track. (Yes, I just saw Ford vs. Ferrari and highly recommend!)
Sadly, my whizzing came to an abrupt halt and I was once again spending hours of my life that I’ll never get back on the phone with my service provider. Rebooting routers, clearing lines, and yes, scheduling yet another visit from the cable guy. In utter frustration, I packed up my purple laptop and headed to the library.
I decided that I would tap into my undergraduate degree in IT and years in the industry working with complex online banking systems, to try to figure it out. Anything would be better than listening to another minute of hold music.
I cleared my cache. I rebooted my computer. I disconnected and reconnected my internet. I even emptied the recycle bin on the off chance that a rogue Excel spreadsheet was the cause of my web of frustration. When none of these actions worked, I decided it’s time to go for broke. It was time to go where no man has gone before (well, sort of).
My computer settings.
You know that little gear icon that contains the instructions for how all of the bits and bytes of this amazing technology work? It’s the icon that’s feared by many tech-newbies and relished by those who love nothing more than fiddling with these contraptions.
I scrolled through the sections, acting as if I actually knew the purpose of each. Oh sure, proxy settings. Yeah, those look ok. Hotspot – hmm, yeah…ok. Clearly, being deprived of full internet access had made me delusional. As I came to the end of the list, after clicking this box on and that box off, I saw a selection that stopped me in my tracks.
“Return all to default settings.”
Whoa! I stared at that choice for a while. Default settings? I contemplated what this meant. These are the settings that the manufacturer thought would be the best. These are the original selections that would optimize the performance of the machine. It made complete sense to me to hover over the “Yes” option and click it.
I didn’t. I hit cancel and promptly called my internet provider. I ditched what the manufacturer, the creator of my laptop, had in mind as the best settings. Why? Because I had no idea what the default settings were. I had no idea if those settings would spiral me into the abyss of tech support or worse, cause me to fling my trusty laptop out the window.
As humans, we have our own default settings. As creations of God, each of our settings has been customized for us to have a great life, to work optimally under any condition. When we were formed in our mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5), God gave us talents, gifts, measures of faith that would enable us to live the blessed life He planned for each of us. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Unfortunately, for many of us, we exchange those perfect default settings for those of the world. We allow others to define who we are. We allow the circumstances of our life to alter those settings. Over the years, these opinions and circumstances become part of our story, our internal motherboard, which we then spend the rest of our lives attempting to fix.
Instead of seeking to understand and believing what God’s default settings are, we believe what the world says they should be.
When I began my concentrated study of the Bible many years ago, I had no idea what my default settings were. I presumed, perhaps like you, that they were formed from my upbringing and life circumstances. I was wrong. Dead wrong. My default settings – and yours if you choose to believe – are perfect.
2 Timothy 1: 7 – I have a sound mind.
Galatians 3:26 – I am God’s daughter.
Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who is my strength.
1 John 3:1 God loves me.
This week, I want to encourage you to examine your settings. Are they aligned with the perfect default settings from God? Or are they mired in what the world has said they should be? Scroll through your life story and if it’s not aligned with what God has said, uncheck the boxes.
If you’re really brave – uncheck all of them or…simply click “Return all to default settings” and watch how God will clear your path and transform your life.