03 March 2010

Plugged in…

My Netbook is one of my favorite electronic gadgets (and I am a “gadget girl”). Smaller than the average laptop, it only has a 9” screen, which took some adjusting to initially – my eyesight ain’t what it used to be! But, it is more portable and the bright kelly green cover always makes me smile – it is such a cheerful color. It makes other people smile and take notice as well. I was recently at a restaurant working on something and a waitress remarked on the color and size. We had a brief conversation about cost and the benefits of having the smaller computer. I revisited that same restaurant about a month later and was served by the same waitress. She had forgotten me (imagine that), but she remembered the Netbook.

When my external hard drive and SmartPhone are connected on the left side and the memory card from my camera is plugged into the right side USB ports – it looks, acts and performs like its larger, more cumbersome “brother laptops”. It is command central. I can write my blogs, jump on Facebook, respond to emails, upload pictures, maintain my various calendars – all the “stuff” I do on a daily and regular basis. All of this works wonderfully well – especially when the Netbook is fully charged and/or plugged in.

Last night, I was working on something and I got a “battery warning” message that my battery was only 14% charged and I needed to change my power source or risk losing all my work. Now, from appearances, I was plugged in. The power cord to my Netbook was connected and from where I was sitting, it looked like the power cord was plugged into the electrical outlet. So, I ignored the warning and kept on working…until the next message popped up, “you only have 7% power – find a new power source.” A red light started blinking on the front of the computer and I figured “Ok, this is serious.” So I unplugged the power cord and plugged it back in. Nothing – red light still blinking. I got up and followed the power cord to the outlet and discovered that the power cord was not plugged into the electrical strip properly. Once I plugged it in correctly, lights stopped flashing on my computer and all warnings ceased and desisted. I was able to keep working on what I was doing without any loss. (and Amen - Hallelujah for that!)

How many times do we “appear” to be “plugged in” when we are really running on batteries? From where I was sitting as I worked, everything “looked” right. It looked like the connections were as they should have been – and I initially ignored the warnings. Sometimes, we “look right” – we are going to church, we are returning our tithes, we are eating vegetarian – but if we are not doing these things with the right motives, it is a false look. Maybe that is why God looks at our hearts, not our appearances.

My good friend Shana told a childrens story at our church about being plugged in. She used a lamp to illustrate the point that unless the lamp is plugged into an electrical outlet, it is not fulfilling its purpose to shed light. Likewise, if we are not plugged into the Power Source of God, we cannot fully live up to our purpose in life.

It’s time for us to stop running on batteries. We need to heed the warnings and plug into the Source of all power, wisdom and might.

Be blessed.

© 2010 Kristina E. Smith

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