This post is the conclusion to the coffee-soaked computer saga. To catch up, the journey started started when my daughter lefter her hot-pink homework folder at home, and I discovered the power of loving grace in the hallway of an elementary school. (Read the post, Grace on the Floor) The very next day, a curious toddler on the loose in my local coffee shop knocked a full mug of coffee into my computer and all over me, and I had the choice to exercise grace. (Read the post Grace Spilled over everything.)
I knew that my coffee-drenched computer wasn’t really about a ruined computer. The second I stood up, with coffee dripping out the hem of my jeans, I recognized that bigger things were at stake – my character, my faith, and my walk with God.
The coffee incident happened on a Friday. I did my best not to fret about the computer for the next 24 hours while it sat in my bedroom drying out. I held my breath and pushed the power button late Saturday morning. Nothing. Tried the button again. Nothing. Held the button for half a minute. Nothing. My fear was that it would never turn on again.
I spent Saturday researching places to send the computer for hopeful repair and gathering the worst case scenarios for damage. It wasn’t pretty. I figured I would be shopping for a new computer by the end of the week.
The mom of the toddler texted me and offered again to pay for repairs. But it didn’t feel right to ask her to pay for anything. As Kedron said, this is a risk you take when you use your computer in a public place. Especially when you have an open beverage sitting next to your computer.
My heart and concern was for this woman. I know how terrible and worried I would be if my child (or let’s be honest, I’m clumsy and it’s something I would do too) had ruined someone’s computer. I would feel awful. I wouldn’t get any sleep. I’d have a hard time eating. I’d chew all my fingernails off. We can be so quick to execute judgment and condemnation on ourselves as parents. We can shame ourselves for the accidents that happen and the mistakes our kids make. Those are judgments of the enemy, and not from our Father.
I knew from the beginning that for me, this wasn’t just about a computer. It wasn’t just about my digital documents. It was an opportunity to grow and follow Jesus, no matter how hard it was.
I believe that inconveniences and frustrations like this are opportunities to die to self and in process gain a life that is true. Jesus said:
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
The Bible Knowledge Commentary describes “dying to self” as denying selfish interests and earthly securities, and “taking up our cross and following Jesus” means saying yes to God’s will and God’s way.
My selfish interests and securities (and let’s be honest financial matters are a big security issue – am I alone here?), screamed “Yes, let her pay! She offered!!” While God’s spirit whispered, “No, let me take care of you. Deny this desire, and put your security in following me.”
What good is it if I gain a new or repaired computer but in the process forfeit my soul?
I didn’t know how it would work out. Jesus didn’t tell his disciples the whole plan either. He just said, “follow me.” And they did. It’s a step of faith.
Following Jesus often means doing things that make you stand out from the crowd – things that make you seem a bit different.
I left her a voice mail saying there was no way I was going to ask her to pay for anything. She replied and thanked me for our grace. She said she wanted to do something special for me. I told her it wasn’t necessary, but that I’d like to get to know her.
So one afternoon we went for coffee with her adorable little guy. She shared her story. It’s beautiful, and God has done amazing things for her family. It’s a story I wouldn’t have learned had this not happened, or if I had responded negatively. I feel like I made a new friend.
Over a two-week period, I waited for the results from the repair shop, batting away feelings of insecurity and fear and holding onto faith and grace. Theshop took the computer apart, cleaned it out, and replaced the battery. And that was all it needed. The guy who does the repairs was shocked. He said after seeing how much coffee was inside the computer he thought all was lost. I didn’t lose a single bit of data, and the cost for the cleaning and a new battery was insignificant.
This will always be one of those events that I look back on with favor rather than regret. It’s a life-long lesson in learning to deny myself and my desire for security in material things and instead find my security in following God’s ways.
Have you ever had to deny yourself and your desire for security in order to follow Jesus? Let’s encourage each other to stand out from the crowd and take the courageous steps of following Him in uncertain and challenging times!
*linking with Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood today!