What Stage Are You In?

    I was standing in line registering for a college class when two life-changing events occurred. First, my wife Linda and I had our first extended conversation (we were in line together). Second, I saw my first personal computer.
    Don’t get me wrong. Meeting Linda and getting to know her was a big deal. But that would be a different blog. This one is about computer that computer.
    So while standing in line waiting to enter the Academic Dean’s office to get permission to take more credits than what was normally allowed, I saw his secretary typing on what looked to me like a typewriter with a TV screen where the paper usually went through the rollers. Before this time, a keyboard to me was a piano and a monitor was the guy who enforced the rules in the hallway at high school. I looked intently at this newfangled device and said, “What is that?” The dean was just coming out of his office and he said matter-of-factly, as though I should have known, “A computer! You’ve never seen one before?”
    A lot of things have changed since then. That little PC at my college had only 16 kilobytes of internal memory. It didn’t have a hard drive but wrote all its information to a tape drive that took forever to retrieve.
    Today, I have a phone that sends megabits of information to space and back in a matter of seconds and transmits and receives images that the best digital cameras, ten years ago, couldn’t even take. I recently read that any cell phone with internet capability has more computing power and internal memory than the massive network of room-sized computers that engineered Apollo 11’s landing on the moon!
    How did all of this happen?
    It seems like it was near instantaneous, doesn’t it? From PCs to computer cell phones? But it wasn’t.
    Personal computers came on the scene for the general public in the early 80s. By the end of the decade, many households had one, but they were a far cry from what we have today. Most of them didn’t have hard drives until near the end of the decade, and those that did held only 20 megabytes or so. In the 80s, you had to memorize codes to make the computer do anything. With my first computer, I had to buy a book of codes and authored my own programs to create simple databases and calendars. Apple introduced the mouse and menus, but most didn’t use it until Microsoft came out with Windows 3.1, a dinosaur by today’s standards.
    And printers. Printing from a computer used to be awful! We had a choice between daisy wheel (a glorified typewriter head) and dot matrix (slower than molasses and very poor quality). Laser printers weren’t introduced to the public until the late 80s and ink jets didn’t come out until the 90s.
    For many years, being “on line” meant that your computer was plugged into the wall. Most of us didn’t know what the internet was until the mid 90s and even then, few people had email. It was too slow to be all that useful. You had to use your phone line to get on the web and it took forever for simple pictures to load. Residential “high speed” is less than ten years old!
    So all that we have didn’t happen over night. It developed. Each technology was built on something before it. And when some of the most useful devices that we depend on today were at one time impractical. Technology (knowledge) is cumulative.
    And so it is with spiritual growth. Peter said this, “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7).
    Becoming like Christ will not happen overnight. But God wants you to continually develop, always ready to take the next step of faith, each stage in your spiritual life building on the last.
    Where are you in this journey? What is the next “development” that God has for you? Take that step. It will lead you to bigger and better things!

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