The Midterm

This was a test. I’m sure of it.

A couple of weeks ago I got an email saying that the internal hard drive that came with my year-old computer was being recalled. Some defect that could make it potentially crash was a possibility. I was instructed to back up my hard drive to an external drive, bring in my computer to the Apple store for a brand new free internal hard drive. No cost. No hassles, etc. As instructed, I backed up my data onto my external hard drive. Before we headed out of town for the weekend, I dropped off the computer and expected to pick it up as soon as we returned. No problem.

The Monday after we got back, I got the computer, received the simple instructions on how to restore my computer with the backed up information, signed some papers and left the store. When I got home and followed the simple restoration instructions, I found that my back-up hard drive hadn’t been backing up at all. Not for the last 1 ½ years! Essentially the hard drive and the computer were doorstops. Useless. Everything that I had worked on for the past 18 months was gone, including the almost finished book that I was contracted to turn in by the end of November.

Have you ever had one of those moments when everything moves in slow motion -kind of out of focus?

Sitting at the “Genius Bar” at the Apple store listening to an expert tell me that he had no idea what happened or how to retrieve my data, I was …numb. I could have cried but it was such a shockingly surreal moment that I forgot how. I could have screamed but I was completely without words, even loud offensive ones. I was somehow able to roll over some scenarios in my head of how to make this work and I finally was able to speak, “Can you put my old hard drive back in?” The technician was scrambling, too. “Uh, we send those back to the factory where they are destroyed. I’m sorry, ma’am.” I really do think he was sorry. I’m guessing he was putting himself in my shoes and imagining what he would feel if his life’s work was suddenly gone. He held up a “just wait” finger, disappeared behind the “employees only” door, and left me with head in hands to deal with what just happened. A few minutes later, the man reappeared with a flushed face and a slightly hopeful look. “We’re going to trace that hard drive and ask the factory to return it to us. I can’t absolutely promise anything except that we will try our best to get your data back and get your computer restored.” Okay.

As the days went by, I prayed for a miracle. And God granted – not just one but several miracles. The first came when I realized that this was not the end of the world. Yes, I could rewrite the book if I had to and somehow regain a fraction of the other stuff I had been working on. The second miracle came when the Apple store said they had rescued my hard drive en route to the slaughter house and was having it shipped back to the store. The third miracle came when they actually installed the hard drive and my computer was restored to its original glory.

All miracles. But not really. These could have been manipulated by Man or dumb luck. Good timing.

The true miracle is what I had just learned from God’s Word before the crisis.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15 New International Version (NIV)


In the fine print at the bottom of the page in my study Bible, the commentary says that the word “rule” in this case doesn’t mean “reign” as in the royal sense. Here the Greek word is from sports jargon. “Rule” here means to “umpire or referee”. I get that. Watching baseball all spring and summer and then college football all fall, I understand now – in this harrowing midterm I’ve just taken – that when I let God call balls and strikes or off sides or touchdown, I’m going to have peace. And the true miracle is that I did have peace throughout the whole test and was prepared for whatever call He made. I guess I passed this one.

And not just for extra credit either –  I AM THANKFUL!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


1 thought on “The Midterm

  1. Jerry Rankin

    I am happy for you in regard to the restoration of all of the previous work that had been done and the peace that came with seeing each of the pieces fit together. Thank you too for each of the reminders in this process. Glad that it also added to your times of “being thankful”. Hope this continues to be a special Thanksgiving for you and your family.


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