The view from the hill: The CIA & Me

No, I don’t think my microwave is surreptitiously taking photos of meal preparation in the Parsonage kitchen (for meal pix that I take myself, see my photos on my Lyn Osborne Winter Facebook page).

After a recent raft of big brother leakage, I do now have a reason to blame CIA interference for my laptop woes.  Every early morning since the reports surfaced, my laptop screen freezes, programs open and close themselves, and the cursor develops an erratic mind of its own, always between 5:00 and 8:00 a.m. . . . . Left idle while I fetch coffee #2, I return to find random windows open, new blank tabs marching across the top of the Mozilla screen, and slow and sludgy movement that is sometimes accompanied by a fleeting message ‘a web page is slowing you down’ that disappears before I can choose and click ‘ignore.’

It’s got to be the CIA monitoring my activity.  It can’t be that I have that “117  131 updates to windows” notice from one of the thingees on the taskbar.  Or that I crash Firefox daily.  Or that Word can’t decide if it’s in lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll.  There:  I left that in – honest, I took my hands off the keyboard to lift that coffee mug when that happened.

Anyway, I just now saved this draft.  In Word 97-2003.  You know a real Word document instead of that docx stuff . . . because if I don’t save in the old format I can’t transfer files (via CD) to my trusty Mac G4.  For formatting in PageMaker if I need to.

You might be getting the idea by now.  In some ways, I’m a turn-of-the-century gal.  (The 20th, not the 19th)  Heck, some of you who might be reading this may not even get those tech references.

But you might be getting the idea that this isn’t ultimately about old technology or the CIA (‘tho I hate to give that up).  It’s about blame:  where we put it, how we deflect it, our reluctance to accept it.  It’s about the satisfying sound of our own complaining (and the equally unsatisfactory drone of someone else’s complaints).

And, ultimately, it’s about change and the way we adapt, embrace, or try to sidestep it.  And not merely the change that technology brings. It’s about our stubborn adherence to the comfort (real or imagined) of what was instead of embracing what could be, with us all the while stuck smack dab in the middle of what is.

Reality check: actions we take today can impact us tomorrow, but will have little effect on yesterday.  By extension, though, it means we need to take action.  Today. While we’re in it.   Thoughts: I can clean up the laptop instead of blaming the CIA:  it won’t change the fact that had I done it a week ago, there may have only been 57 updates to do.  But it could save some time before a frozen system shuts me down completely tomorrow.  And instead of passively accepting the glitches, I’ll have to spend some of my own time on it.  But time is a construct:  what I’d be doing is investing in the potential for tomorrow.

That proverbial, mis-attributed motto “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the ‘present’.” is no help here.  To my mind, it makes the present the destination – if today is a gift, we should enjoy it as the self-indulgent gratification it is – which means we can smugly adopt another misquoted, but definited attributed ‘tomorrow will take care of itself.’  [It’s from the Sermon on the Mount; and if that’s not in your personal browsing history, invest part of your today and read it here.]

I’m pretty sure that’s NOT what Jesus had in mind in that hours-long, jam-packed, call to action.  It’s full of things to do in the present that will potentially impact each day, each year that follows.  And it was such a call to action that even after hours in the hot sun, stiff from sitting, hungry and thirsty and weary – both the speaker and the listeners, no doubt – they took the present into the potential:  at the end, as he left the hill, they followed him.  Faith is a forward action, not a present destination.

So we have no one to blame but ourselves, and complaining won’t initiate change.  And it’s time to stop postponing potential by inaction.  Faith issues require change all the time:  “leaving what is behind we press on.”

Guess what I’ll be doing for the next few hours?