Working in the MIS field I am often called on to fix ‘computer problems.’ Many times problems can be solved by ‘rebooting’ the computer. Some times ‘rebooting’ doesn’t fix the problem; however, shutting the computer down completely, then starting it back up, solves the problem.
I often tell users that computers are like people. Sometimes they become confused or need to be repaired.
Yesterday I had a frustrated user, who I advised to reboot their computer. She turned to me and asked if she ‘could reboot’ her life or if she ‘should shut down completely and restart her entire life’ or at least ‘reboot’ certain portions of her life, that she would like to change.
I explain to users that ‘rebooting’ is something like a ‘standing 8 count’ in boxing. The confused computer takes a brief period of time to go through a renewing process. This often works. However, many times it needs to be shut down completely, as in the one minute rest period between rounds. Here, the boxer returns to his corner, sits down on his stool, and is able to collect his thoughts and plan the next part of the contest. At this time, trainers and managers whisper good council in his ear, advising him how to proceed. While he is exhausted from the previous three minutes of the fight, he has a chance to completely regroup his thoughts and renew himself.
As I walked away I thought to myself that it is a shame I’m not a preacher. “Somewhere, there’s a good sermon there.”
Later, I thought more about the incident and realized that I had recently ‘rebooted’ my life. I was like the stunned boxer in the ring. The referee had stepped in and had given me a ‘standing 8 count’ after the death of my father. Confused, weary-eyed, and battle worn, I was given a short ‘time out’ from life and the day to day world. Of course, a few days after the funeral, I needed to reenter the rat race, still reeling from the loss of my Dad. I felt like I was beaten up on by the recent events in my life, with no where to turn for help. Obviously, I knew my wife, family, and friends, were there for me; but, I knew I needed something more.
It was then I decided to return to bible study; to renew my study of the Word; and to return to a more prayerful being. I looked at the life of my Dad; a man who lived and died with grace and dignity. I realized that I exhibited little grace and even less dignity. I realize that I was a poor imitation of the man who gave me life and of the man I loved so very much.
My Dad wasn’t a church goer. He never went to church. He never read the bible. I don’t even know if he prayed. However, he lived his life in an exemplary fashion, one that most devote Christians couldn’t hold a candle to. I never heard him tell an off color joke. He never cursed in public. He was a very quiet man, who collected his thoughts before he spoke, unlike his quick tongued son who would shoot off his mouth without thinking first. He never spoke ill of anyone; unlike his son who constantly wrote negatively about those with different points of views. He exemplified true Christian beliefs in his words and actions, without being a ‘visible’ Christian in church.
I then thought about the co-worker’s comment that she would like to ‘reboot’ certain portions of her life. Wouldn’t we all?
There are certainly things that I would done differently. However, you can’t go back and change the past. You can only learn from the mistakes you’ve done or from things you should have done. You can’t live in the past. Life goes on, with or without, your loved ones.
As I think about my father’s illness, death, and funeral, I am amazed, comforted, and proud of the amount of love and respect everyone had for my Dad. The dozens of daily emails from around the world; the many get well and birthday cards he received; the generosity extended by the Grand Lodge of Maryland and Palestine Lodge; the countless visits by family, friends, and neighbors; and the outpouring of love and support for his family at the funeral was overwhelming. For a very quiet, unassuming, and humble man; he touched the hearts and lives of many people – all in a positive way. For a man who never sought to be a leader; he stood before all of us, showing us how to live righteously. For a man who never preached a sermon, his actions spoke louder than any heard from the pulpit.
My wife comforts me, by saying many of the people showed up out of respect for me, also. She claims that my writings were also meaningful to many and that people listened to what I always wrote about on my personal blog. She said that the Masonic Memorial Service I performed and the eulogy I gave, drew respect and attention and touched the heart of everyone present. Nora believes that I have a true talent with words, both in the written and spoken form. She feels people might not always agree with my views, but are always curious about what I have to say, because of the way I phrase myself.
Tom Overton, my best friend, says that I have a way of breaking anything down into the ‘least common denominator’ or ‘the bottom line’.
Others have said, due to my work within the Masonic Fraternity and the genealogy field, that I have a natural leadership ability, along with outstanding organizational skills.
Maybe I do; maybe I don’t. But, if that is the case, shouldn’t I have been doing more to help a larger number of people?
If I had an ounce of my father’s inner being; using that, along with whatever God given ability I have; I could and should have been doing more.
I can’t go back, ‘reboot’, and relive certain portions of my life again; however, I can change the way I live the rest of my life. I told my Dad that I wanted to be more like him. Now is the time to do just that.