Reset, Reboot, Restore

Happy New Year!

2020 started off with a whimper, not a bang, for me. Woke up, had breakfast, trimmed the fig tree growing in the backyard of my parents’ house, and went back to my house. The same thing I did in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016… you get the idea.

My dad getting ready to trim the fig tree

There are issues from 2019 which I was still dealing with in 2020. I have asked myself several times now: so what’s the deal with the new year, if you have old problems? If you have had your issues from 2019 magically disappear on December 31, 2019 and never resurface on January 1, 2020, I want to know who is your fairy godmother.

But for those without a fairy godmother to remove our baggage from last year, the rest of us will just have to push forward like an icebreaker in the Barents Sea.

I have decided to use some computer terminology to shape this post. After all, who hasn’t been told to “try turning it off and on again”? to fix our tablet or desktop computer?

Unfortunately, our brains don’t work like a physical computer so we can’t reset our minds with the big button.

What can we reset any way? For one, my priorities. What was so important in 2019 that got me so worried? What if they didn’t matter in the eternal view? I was so stressed about my broken tooth and stuff for my car. Now, I am at the very tail end of my treatment plan for my tooth. Cars will always break down and I just have to think about which car I want to buy next year.

Rebooting for a computer is also a restart.

I was thinking about the other ways of rebooting. The word rebooting have different connotations; when it comes to a movie franchise, it means to restart the story, usually starting with a new or revised origin story for the character. I mean, think of how many Spiderman movies over the last twenty years – they make three or four, realized they reached the “end”, and restart with a new cast, new director, and a new script.

In 2020, there are a few things I would like to start again. Obviously, I can’t recast myself. That would be just weird. But I can have a new director. There are some actors who have directed the same movie that they also starred in, like Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Or Jonathan Frakes. Yes, I am a Trekkie.

But what about spiritually? Emotionally? I can direct myself poorly on how to respond to crises, or my new director is God. To carry out the analogy to the end, what if God’s script is better than whatever I wrote? Or His direction is better?

Jonathan Frakes on a set

Windows users are often told to create a system restore point. This is the last good system image when it was still working. Whatever bad thing could be undone by reverting back to this point.

In life, you cannot go back. It is just not possible at work, in your marriage, at home, at church, that the nearly fatal traffic accident, and even our words cannot be unsaid.

Again, I’m going to take refuge in the other connotations for “restore.” Just as the mechanics and car enthusiasts on the show Fast and Loud like to work with old classics and bring them back to working condition, I am hoping for my soul and spirit to be restored to working condition. I love to see old planes fly again as well. The restoration team work hard to clean away decades of grime and corrosion so that all the damage is removed. Broken parts are removed and original parts are installed. Everything is put back together again and given a fresh coat.

It’s not just planes and cars that gets restored. It’s my soul.

He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Psalm 23:3 (NKJV)

We need more than face lift or botox; our souls need work. They need to have the broken parts removed and replaced with functional parts. They need to the grime and the corrosion sanded down to the bottom and taken out again. It’s no use cleaning up the vehicle’s outside and not fix the engine. Cars are meant to be driven, and planes are meant to be flown, but what good is a car or plane if it has no engines? It’s just another hangar queen. Or a large driveway obstruction.

2020 may be the year we all change our priorities for the better, to reboot, and get restored.

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