Changing careers and joining the Australian Defence Force at age 52 was always going to be difficult. Amongst the many, many challenges I faced was the technological one. Now readers may interpret that and think of the challenges of facing the cutting edge technology in a military environment, but in my day-to-day work the challenge is quite the opposite. As an original Mac-man I knew my first technological hurdle was going to be using a PC for the first time in my life. It felt like abandoning the light and embracing the dark side! With the courage instilled in me by my military training, I overcame the early challenge of clicking on ‘start’ to shut down. Simple things like selecting a printer caused issues. Then I discovered last week that hiding behind ‘start’ were the previously unfound Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs. Surviving the initial pain however only softened me for the major subsequent technological shocks to come.
For some reason, the ADF uses Word version 2004. Personally I resist updating to the latest version, but Word 2004 was released when I was still a young man. Then recently I unpacked my brand new ADF issued phone, which can best be described as a very dumb phone. It is actually made by a company called Nokia, who I was not even sure was still in business. Unlocking the thing, entering contacts and generally using it is like driving an EH Holden when your current drive is a 2011 Subaru Forester. Of course driving a column shift EH has a certain charm, but adjusting back to a dumb phone has none. Somehow, sitting on my desk next to my iPhone, the Nokia even looks dumb. Once you have tasted a technological advance it’s hard to go back.
As a Christian one of our joys is to help people experience the love and grace of God, sometimes for the first time. Knowing God is in many ways an emotional, intellectual and spiritual breakthrough. The thrill of technological advancement is minor compared to the enlightenment of a living, personal relationship with the creator and designer of life itself. Knowing you are loved, forgiven and valued by God changes everything.
To the believer there is no turning back to the dark side. Tragically in the darkness many are unconvinced that the promised light is either real or worth the effort. Knowing God involves the realisation that our systems and senses are defective and we need a better way.
Once you have tasted the goodness of God, the world’s pleasures simply seem a little ‘yesterday’.
Once you have seen the glory of God there can be no turning back to old ways.
Taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the one that takes refuge in him. Psalm 34. 8