The resident geek

Along with being a Kid’s Pastor, I’m also the resident geek of the church I serve in. The proper term is tech director. But I prefer resident geek.

What I’m not ok with is when things don’t work tech wise. Technology is frustrating when refusing to cooperate – even more so when I’m trying to bring something new into the flow of our ministry and the tech is not cooperating. Even though every indicator, every test, every other piece of evidence tells me otherwise. All the pieces are present. Everything should work!

Such was the case this week. I won’t bother with the details. Very simply, what was supposed to work, and what would have made sense to work, was not working. And I had hit my limit. My patience and mental capacity were unraveling. So I did the only thing I could…

I yelled at the computer, told it how to work, and went for a run. As if the computer cares 😉

Elijah the runner

Running is a way to clear my mind, reset my thoughts, and re-center me. And while I was running, my mind was on Elijah. I can relate to Elijah. The short version – he’s a prophet of God. He’s experienced brilliant success against the prophets of the false gods. He’s called down fire from heaven – which I consider stellar!

But amidst this splendid success comes a threat from the queen of the now dead prophets. She’s a little ticked at Elijah. And so she issues a death threat. It freaks Elijah out.

So he runs. 100 miles.

I only ran 4.

He stops to die. Literally, he lays down and prepares for death to come and take him. God sends a messenger telling him to get a snack and take a nap. It’s amazing to me how much a snack and a nap due me good. Snacks and naps are not only for kids.

Elijah listens, is strengthened, and continues onward to Mount Sinai – the same Sinai that Moses hung out with God. It’s meaningful. Elijah finds a cave once he gets here. And I get that. While not a physical cave, we each have our version of a cave, a place we go to feel safe, to be alone and to be with God.

While Elijah is in his cave God asks him what he’s doing here. I find that question very interesting. God doesn’t say what are you doing there. He asks Elijah what are you doing here. The difference? Here shows God is there in the cave with Elijah.

Elijah gives his answer. God then tells Elijah to get ready, that He’s about to pass by. Elijah experiences three different events – a great wind, an earthquake, fire. None of these were God passing by.

It was in the sheer silence that God passed by. And in that silence, Elijah gets a word of encouragement from God. Encouraged and strengthened, Elijah continues his mission.

Elijah required a reset.

We all require a reset

We all have devices – laptops, phones, tablets. When they don’t work right, when something is wrong with them, the first thing you do is what?

Reset. Reboot.

In fact, when I get a tech call, rebooting is the first thing I tell them to do. Reset your device. Unplug for a while, let the device sit, plug the device back in, and switch the device on.

Elijah needed a reset… a reboot. He needed to know so surely that God was still for him. That God was still on his side. And that no matter what the issue Elijah faced, it wasn’t bigger than God. And in doing so, God changed Elijah’s perspective from one of despair to one of repair.

Sound familiar? It should. We’ve all experienced needing a reset, a re-centering. The challenge is, have we intentionally asked God to reset us? Have we escaped to our cave when needed to seek His presence?

Back to my run

I finished my run – still thinking about Elijah – but mostly still stuck on my tech problem. I was rehashing the whole thing through during my cool down walk. The run for me was a reset of sorts. I needed the clarity that stepping away brings – the headspace for God to speak.

But I also needed reminded of my cardinal rule – resetting, rebooting. It prompted me that I hadn’t reset one of the machines I was working on.

I headed inside the house, got cleaned up for the office and made a beeline to the computer that needed a reset. I shut it down, let it sit, and started it back up again.

And wonder of wonders it worked. It just needed a reset.

We all need it… so how do we do it?

Ultimately it is God that shifts our attitude, but we have a responsibility as well. God won’t just do it for us. That’s not His nature.

We need to know what our cave is. We all have times in our lives when we need to pull aside and let God remind us just how indescribable He is. Consider the fact that He spoke and our solar system came into being. He’s a massively huge God.

Yet He shrunk Himself down into the form of a Man so He could relate to you and I. And He cares intensely about the things that weigh on us. He knows we need Him more than we realize. And He calls to us to come and sit with Him. He wants to do a reset.

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of God’s limitlessness. He’s infinite. His love, His creativity, His grace, His mercy. You may reach the end of you, but you’ll never reach the end of God. His provision for you is limitless.

For me it’s just looking at creation – stopping to think that the world doesn’t just spin around aimlessly out of control. There is a great big God who is in control, who knows all that’s going on, and dwells inside of me. That’s both humbling and encouraging.

And it resets me.

Last thought…

Remember the fire, wind, and earthquake that Elijah experienced? What if those were distractions? God was not present in any of them. I don’t know if Elijah thought that God would be present in them or not. I might have expected Him to be. But it was in the sheer silence that God was present.

It’s in the sheer silence where we find our biggest gains spiritually, the needed reset. It’s in the deep draughts of God.

Undistracted and fully focused.

It’s here you’ll find a reset.