Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Too Much Trash

Two years ago I made the switch.  I bought my first computer, a Windows PC, in 1988.  From that moment on, I was a PC dude.  I purchased PC’s for home, homeschool and office.  However, more and more, I was getting dissatisfied.  My last three Dell PC’s lasted less than two years before a hard drive crash, and Dell Customer Service was horrible.

So I switched.  I went to Mac.  I thought that I had entered computer heaven for the first six months.  Then…things started happening.  I had to run disk utilities a couple of times.  I had to do safe starts.  I polled my Mac friends on Facebook and they all said that this was weird.

My Mac was SLOW.  Sometimes it would not hardly boot up.  Then…out of the blue it started telling me that my 500g hard drive was full.  I looked and I was using 498 gigs.  This was impossible.  I do not game.  I only had basic office software—word processing, presentation, spreadsheets.  I do not download movies.  My Mac is a work computer and nothing else.  At the most I should have a couple of hundred gigs.  So I started looking on line to try and find out what was up.  The cleanup things that I found on line were not helping me.

Then I found it.  In iphoto.  I glanced at my photos and I had…ready for this…almost 18,000 photos.  But there is more.  The photos were not in albums.  They were in the trash.

If you are like me, you take full advantage of digital snapshots and snap away.  At the boy’s track meet, when Ben was jumping in the high jump, I had about 25 shots of every jump. At Christmas I would snap from the moment they began opening until they held the final present in their hand with faces aglow.  Then, after importing them into iphoto, I would eliminate 98% of the photos and just keep the best ones. The others I put into the trash.

What I did not know was that in iphoto, when you delete photos, it doesn’t delete them or move them to the computer trash bin.  It puts them in the iphoto trash bin.  You then have to empty that trash bin into the computer trash bin, and then finally empty the computer trash bin in order to free up space.

Now, lets complicate things.  I could not delete them out of iphoto without my computer locking up…just like a stinking Windows!  After researching on line, I discovered that because I had so many photos, I had to delete them a little at a time…no more than 100.  Do the math.  I had to select 100, say delete forever, yes I am sure and then wait for them to go to the computer trash. Then I had to right click, empty trash, yes, and wait.  Go back to iphoto and do this to 100 more.  I had 18,000!  I ended up spending over two hours deleting photos that I had already thought I had deleted.

Thinking on this, I believe that this is not just a computer issue, it is a spiritual virus as well.  You see, my computer could not process the present things that it needed to, it could not solve present problems and come up with present solutions…because there was so much trash from the past in it’s memory.  

We do that.  It happens in two different ways…and a third one as we get older.  

The first is that of unforgiven sins and wrongs against us.  People hurt us.  There is no denying it, people can be really mean.  From intentional sexual and physical abuse to unintentional absenteeism, we can be hurt by parents.  Friends, school mates, and other people can say and do mean things to us.  They hurt us.  Deeply.  So, what do we do with it?  We store it in our memories and refuse to forgive.  It turns to bitterness.  It locks us up.  It keeps us from doing anything else.  In my case, I had taken photos of a family vacation and could not even put the fun times on my computer because there was so much in my trash.  That is what bitterness does.  It doesn’t let us replace it with good times…as long as it stays there it stops us cold.  Bitterness is an acid that eats through the container that carries it…it destroys our lives.

A second way that the past stops us from the present is when we focus on the good in the past.  We look at how we used to do this or used to do that and think that we still are.  We used to be passionate about Jesus…so we think that we still are passionate about Him.  We used to tell people about the gospel…so we think that we still do.  The truth is, our present is no more than looking at photos of the past.  We look at all that stuff that made us who we are…but somewhere along the line we stopped.  We no longer really do any of the things that we love remembering.  What happened?  

Then, as you get older a change slowly takes place…unless we fight it.  I heard it put this way.  When you spend more time remembering what has happened instead of envisioning what can happen…you have stagnated and become old…even if you are young.  We have a tendency to look at those 18,000 photos and just remember.  We remember the fun. We remember the events.  We remember the people.  But that is all we do, remember.  We are not making any more memories.  Why stop?  

A Bible principle is this: Forget what lies behind and press toward the mark of the price of the high calling of Jesus.   In other words, stop living in the past and start striving for the future!

Don’t let your life become clogged down with what happened…go out and make something happen!