App Crashes and a Parable of the Hard Drive
Did you ever hear that joke about Lucifer and Jesus in the pre-earth life?
Lucifer was getting sick and tired of being told how much more awesome Jesus was than him. So he challenged Him to a duel to see who was truly better. They tried everything – boxing, wrestling, sword play, karate – no matter what, every match ended in a dead tie.
Gnashing his teeth, Lucifer yelled in frustration, “I know what will decide this once and for all! We will have a duel of Microsoft Word!”
Jesus graciously agreed, and they both started typing furiously. This was a contest unlike anything seen before. There were amazing feats of skill in font usage, formatting, speed typing.
Suddenly, they both got the dread blue screen of death (obviously running Windows, not Mac OS). Their sessions were restored, and when Jesus opened MS Word, all of his work was there, whereas Lucifer’s was gone – lost forever in the void of system crashes.
Lucifer yelled with a fury that shook the foundations of the earth. “HOW DID YOU DO THAT?”
Jesus smiled graciously. “That’s easy. Jesus saves.”
Someone reminded me of that awesome joke this week when I had an ordeal with my 2011 27″ iMac.
And because I love analogies, parables, fables, allegories, and all kinds of literary illustration tools, I give unto you a parable: The Parable of the Hard Drive and an analogy an App Crash.
The Parable of the Hard Drive
There was a woman who owned a computer with a fast, capable hard drive and large screen. It was a great computer with many miles and hours spent on it creating many good things that helped others. She also used this computer to support her family financially.
After owning this computer for nearly seven years, she noticed some significant slowing and application troubles.
She did everything she could think of at home like scanning for malware, defragging, and general cleanup. The system “seemed” fine, but still, it kept lagging.
One day, the blue screen of death appeared. She quickly made an appointment with a reputable computer repair shop to see what was wrong.
The diagnosis was grim: the hard drive was failing.
“Okay,” she said, “Go ahead and replace it!”
When she returned to pick up the computer, complete with a new hard drive, the repairman said, “You know, you seem pretty happy and upbeat. Most people who have hard drive issues come in stressed and upset. But you’re pretty chill about this.”
“Oh, that’s because I wasn’t worried at all!” she replied. “About two months ago, I invested in a 4 TB external hard drive and set up automatic backups several times per day. I also purchased a cloud backup service, so my entire hard drive was duplicated on a cloud server every night.”
The repairman was pleased and declared, “Oh, if only all would heed this recommended computer care!”
Save Early And Often
There’s a phrase that rings in my mind, likely from my college journalism professor. “Save early and often,” he would say. “Lost work is lost time.”
Of course you should save your computer work! Still, many of us just aren’t in that habit. We will open a new document, type out our entire report, and completely neglect the title that still says, “Untitled.doc” at the top.
Then the power goes out just before you finish to your last paragraph. Or the application freezes. You get the blue screen. The spinning rainbow wheel.
You know the dread that fills your bowels. You know the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth… It’s happened to you, right?
The Parable Interpretation
Many people don’t think they need Jesus or need to go to church frequently. There are so many reasons to be there, but the most important is to partake of the Sacrament. It’s a weekly check-in with Heaven. It’s an opportunity for you to stop and listen – to make sure you’re on the right track.
When you go to church and partake of the sacrament regularly, it’s like hitting CTRL+S (CMD+S for Mac – the higher operating system) regularly. And when you start young, those habits become a part of you. It’s part of implementing Jesus’ atonement in your regular life. You are, quite literally, “saving early and often.”
And when you invest in something as simple – and significanly inexpensive when you’re considering the value of all your photos and memories – as an automatic backup to your hard drive, all the worry is nonexistent.
When hard times come, when the social system crashes around you, or even just the program you’ve been working on for years fails… are you afraid? Do you get that horrible sinking feeling that all is lost?
Nope. Because you know where your data is stored. You know in Whom you’ve trusted. You know that Jesus saves. (No pun this time.) And that there’s always Heavenly backup ready to help you.