by David Sisler

I love my computer.

I hate my computer.

You have a split personality. (Turn head to left) "No, I don't." (Turn head to right) "Yes, you do."

Many are the days when I sit in front of my outdated Pentium 166 that I think of the little Corona Deluxe portable typewriter Mom and Dad bought for me when I moved into 221 Sowers Hall, FSU (Frostburg State University not that other place). I knew that there was absolutely nothing finer in all of the world than that little typewriter. That little machine served me well through four years of college and eight years of pastoring until I traded it for a Hermes 750, office model. The new machine used a correctable carbon ribbon and I knew that nothing could be finer.

Then along came my Tandy 1000TL, purchased from Pat Murphy at Radio Shack. Pat swears it is not so, but I suspect that he must secretly curse the day I entered the world of computers, and that at his hand. No one could have been dumber than I, where these things are concerned. Pat quickly learned my voice over the telephone, and helped me through countless problems. He still does.

That 286 computer (640K of RAM and no hard drive) came with a word processing program which made typewriters seem like slate and chalk. But "bigger and better" were already available.

I switched to WordPerfect 5.1 and I knew nothing could be finer. Until 6.0. And 7.0. I am foregoing 8.0, for no good reason. Hey, I resisted Windows for years, sticking stubbornly to DOS, but I finally gave in and switched to Windows 3.11. I upgraded to Windows 95 in 1996.

I love my computer. I hate my computer. How can I have 32 megs of RAM and two hard drives, totaling 2.5 gigs and still get "out of memory" error messages? And why, in the name of Bill Gates, does this frazzling thing, right in the middle of something important, and before I can hit Control-S and save my work, pop up a screen which says, "This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down immediately?"

It is definitely annoying, but seeing that illegal-operation/shut-down message I frequently think, "Wouldn't it be nice if life were like that? You perform an illegal operation and you are immediately shut down?"

What triggered this rumination was an article in a recent issue of The Christian Science Monitor. Julian Lloyd wrote about Cedaredge, a little town in Colorado with a great solution to one type of lawbreakers. It's almost as good as "this program performed an illegal operation and will be shutdown." The posted speed limit in the city limits of Cedaredge is 30 m.p.h.. And just like the 45 m.p.h. signs on Columbia Road, and the 55 m.p.h. signs on the Bobby Jones Expressway, they were consistently ignored.

Municipal Judge John Wendt began jailing drivers caught going more than 20 m.p.h. above the speed limit. Some people do not like the new policy, but the Judge notes that in February there was not a single case of speeding on the docket.

Lloyd states that Wendt's approach, "mirrors sentencing trends for crimes across the board in the United States. Experts say judges today are more likely than ever to order jail time for crimes even petty ones that previously were punished with milder sentences. Instead of imposing community service or fines, judges are increasingly putting first-time offenders behind bars for crimes such as shoplifting and vandalism."

Lloyd continues: "The public seems to favor tougher sentences, regardless of whether they are more costly to taxpayers." Some polls show that 75 to 80 percent of people say that sentences are too lenient.

Illegal operation. Shut down.

Think about it. There would be no drug addicts because there would be no drug pushers. They would all be shut down. There would be no highway fatalities caused by drunk drivers because they would all be shut down long before they could start their cars. There would be no wife beaters. There would no child molesters.

That day is coming.

John, the Revelator, wrote, "Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They're his people, he's their God. He'll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good tears gone, crying gone, pain gone all the first order of things gone."

Your title-deed to that neighborhood is ready for the taking. It is free from the hand of Jesus, God's beloved Son.


Published in the Augusta Chronicle 3/14/98

Copyright 1998 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.

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