Monday, September 29, 2014

What I'm Learning From a Virus

For the past couple of days I've been trying to figure out how to get rid some malware on my computer.  It's the first time I have ever had some type of virus on my Mac and let me tell you, it's super annoying.  Even while typing this I've had to close 5 different "ads" that have maliciously popped up on my computer screen with the sole purpose of making my life miserable.  Ugg.  OK. Maybe I'm over dramatizing a bit.  But, as annoying as it's been, I've also learned a few things from this experience.  Here's what I've learned:

  • Never think you're above anything.  I had always heard that Macs didn't really get "the bugs."  I have talked with many people who have Macs and they all said the same thing: "Oh, you never have to worry about getting a virus.  That's the good thing about Macs."  Well, that may have made me a little cocky, because I downloaded what I thought was something for my Mac from a website I was not familiar with and I've been regretting it ever since.  I normally never do that. I am like the "download" police in our home.  When my wife asked is she should "click" on something that pops up on the computer I'm like "NOOOO!" But, a little arrogance got me thinking that I was above getting a virus on my Mac.  

In life, never think you're above anything. We are only one step away from making a decision we could regret for a long time. Be wise and humble.  Pride always comes before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

  • Think before you click. I have found myself asking the question "Why did I ever click on that link?!"  I should have known better.  But, what I thought was something that would help my Mac run better was actually something meant to ... well ... just make things difficult.  I didn't pause and ask myself the question: Is this wise? I "clicked" too quickly.

There is always a space between stimulus and response.  The larger the space, the more likely we'll think things through wisely and make a good decision.  The smaller the space, the more likely we'll make a rash decision that could lead to some difficult consequences.  In these situations, a little bit of self-control will go a long way!  1 Peter 5:8 says, "Be self-controlled and alert. (Why?) Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."  When we allow the Holy Spirit to develop self-control in our lives, we are more likely to have a greater space between stimulus and response, and less likely to make a decision that will "devour" us.

  • Someone is trying to make things miserable.  What's saddens me is knowing that someone out there actually developed this virus that would overtake my computer. I'm not sure of the reasoning, but I don't think it was because he or she was trying to make life better for me.  

In a spiritual sense, we have an enemy who wants to make life miserable for us. Jesus called him a "thief" and said that his sole purpose is to "steal, kill, and destroy." He is an enemy that is in direct opposition to any follower of Jesus and if you're trying to make any type of difference or have any impact in this world for Jesus, Satan is not going to be far behind trying to disrupt or distract. When those distractions and disruptions comes, remember the words of Jesus: "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

  • It's nice when someone has your back.  As soon as I realized that something was up with my computer, I went to a friend and asked for help.  We're still working on trying to get the issue figured out, but it was just nice to know he was willing to help, even when it wasn't his responsibility to do so.

It's nice to know when someone has your back ... when you know that they will be there for you, mistakes and all. It's nice to know that they will help even when they don't have to. It's nice to know that they will do more than is expected of them. It's nice to know that you're not alone. Rudyard Kipling once said, "The strength of the pack is in the wolf and the strength of the wolf is in the pack."  We are just better together.  

So, just a couple of my random thoughts that have "popped up" in my mind.  Thanks for reading. 

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