Recently, God taught me an important lesson the hard way. In order to teach me that I needed to put Him first, He took away my computer. Hardcore. As in, I couldn't get on it. I had become too reliant on my laptop for homework and entertainment that it was consuming my life. I listened to music almost all the time, took time away from sleep and practice to be on it. I chose to put off spending time with the God who had brought me this far. He finally got tired of it I think.
My computer was out of commission for nearly two weeks. A good friend of mine tried to fix it for me using every method he knew of to get it up and running so I could at least get my files off of it and use it until I could get it fixed completely. Unfortunately, the software issue that had been caused by a failed update kept him from being successful. I finally had to give in and take it to IT on campus and use my friends' computers and academic computer labs to complete my assignments.
I'll admit, it was a huge stressor! I had a huge paper to write and without a laptop, I had to take time out of my practice and other homework time to write it. But then I thought about it. I was becoming a hypocrite.
In my time without a computer, I found that I spent more time reading, more time sleeping, more time with friends. I liked not having the temptation of the distractions it offered, even though I didn't like how I couldn't have the option to use it when I needed it. However the biggest thing was I purposefully took time to read my Bible and a devotional book, to take time to appreciate God.
IT called me almost every day to update me on the status of my computer. I'd stumped them with how it wouldn't turn on except to a strange boot menu it wouldn't move from. We kept holding out that different scans they were running would do something, spark something in the computer to get it to boot. Finally, the day before I left for Thanksgiving, they called and said there was nothing else they could do but wipe the hard drive to get it back to factory settings. By this time, I didn't care anymore. I just wanted my computer to function again so I could use it to finish the semester. "Just go ahead and wipe it," I said submissively. I was resigned to the fact that my computer just wasn't going to be fixed and I would lose all my files. And I was going to be okay with that.
And then something strange happened. Basically, they told the computer to act like the hard drive wasn't there, it ran an auto repair, and the next morning they came in and found it running, all of my files intact, and no problems with the software anymore.
I was in shock. Complete shock. I listened to the voice mail about four times, trying to figure out if what I was hearing was real. I couldn't stop praising God.
Then a revelation came to me. I had relied on my computer so much that God decided I needed to refocus my attention. I truly believe that God was keeping my computer from being fixed until I was okay with the idea that my computer just wasn't going to be fixed, okay with giving up control. And when I finally was okay with it, He worked on my computer, as what happened was certainly not standard procedure. I'm not trying to put words in God's mouth, but it is what I believe.
Now, I admit, since having my computer back, I've definitely lost my focus that I had regained on God. This is a battle I constantly fight, and I've been letting temptation win the last few days. But God is stronger. And I know that God may very well get my attention again in a way that I don't particularly like. But I love Him anyway :) I fail sometimes in spending time with Him, but He knows what I need to refocus :)