This is just one man talking, here. But I think the Apple Store should be classified as an “essential business”. My iPhone is so ancient that’s it’s trade-value is a whopping $15. Air Drop is miscuing; my iPhone and Mac do not recognize each other even if they’re within a foot of each other. If I try and use the built in email on my Mac it opens dozens of tabs and will not stop until I quit the app. And I’m convinced that a foreign government is trying to incite me to insanity because iCloud suddenly holds a grudge against me, although I’ve neither offended, nor misused it. It cooperates with other Mac users, but not me.
I record my sermons on the iPhone, which isn’t optimal, but functional. Did I mention my iPhone’s trade-in value? But I digress. Anyway, the format for such recordings is m4a, and please do not ask me what that means. My “secretarial assistant”–that’s code for my loving and patient wife– is able to upload them with zero problems. But not this Sunday. No, sireee, Bob. The technology ghosts of the Internet were haunting me once again. I deduced that if I converted the file to mp3 all would be fine. I made a brief test recording of me trying to hum an old jazz ballad and low and behold, the file uploaded in an instant.
So, I made a backup copy of the recent sermon (smart move, right?), and went for the conversion, a term which has serious religious overtones. I retrieved a fresh coffee from my French Press, which is low-tech and gives me no stress. Ten minutes later the file was still converting. The familiar angst of technological futility arose within my gut. Maybe it’s just the bandwidth, I thought, all the while knowing I was lying to myself. Something was wrong. The MacBook Air had decided to convert the entirety of my voice memo library to mp3. I had 677 individual files. No, that’s not a typo, and no they’re not all sermons, not even a quarter of them are. I decided that maybe that was a good thing. I came back 45 minutes later and the completion time was… 6 days and some odd amount of minutes. Not. Helpful. At. All.
I found the file I wanted and it had already converted. Taking a risk I dragged it unto the desktop and it remained place! I then quit the conversion and quickly–the coffee had me revved up and ready to go– got the desired file unto an old Olympus recorder. The sermon is safely ensconced on the Middlesex PCA website.
Technology and I have a love-hate relationship. I love it– it hates me. Members of the church I pastor are well aware that I often fervently pray before I hit “print”, because the printer in my office sometimes acts as if it’s possessed. I even made a video for one of my elders as proof. The printer was going berserk and the off button would not comply.
Everything I wrote is true. And I hope/trust/pray that you realize I’m attempting a bit of humor. A little bit won’t hurt at this time–the world is bleak enough. But thinking about what’s occurring at this moment is sobering. You might say that computer issues are a First World problem (not realizing how degrading that term is), but it’s not. It’s more like 10% or 5% or dare I say it… 1% problem. The reality is harsh– if a family of four grabbed some burgers at the drive-through of a fast food eatery today, they shelled out more money in those few minutes than many people in the world will ever spend on food at any one meal.
I write this to give us perspective, not to inflict shame. God has blessed us. If you live in the USA you live in a place that many people would think was…heaven. We’d all do well to get on our knees and thank The Almighty.