The Perception of Danger

23 07 2010

Two nights ago I was having a relaxing evening hanging out with my favorite Michael. He was tidying up a paper he had to send off, and I was tidying up my account with WordPress. I had some old/unused accounts; names I had reserved but had changed my mind on and I decided to just get rid of them since they were making my dashboard crowded. So, I read up on what I needed to do and then I checked off the account I wanted to delete and hit “next”.

A very big, scary warning came up saying that to delete a blog is a PERMANENT AND IRREVERSIBLE ACTION and did I really want to do something PERMANENT AND IRREVERSIBLE. I have to admit, it gave me a chill! I went back and double checked: did I have the correct blog selected. Yes indeedy! So again, next step, big scary warning, and I said, “Yes.” Yes I want to go down that road and I am prepared for the consequences; bring it on!

The next thing that happens, when one is deleting a blog, just to help people like me who might suddenly have second thoughts even after saying, “Yes”: an email is sent where you are able to click a link which is now the final, final step. Here is where I think WordPress might reconsider it’s final, final step; I would like to suggest that there be a final, final, final step.

So I clicked the link and then merrily went back to see my neater global dashboard. Oddly, when I clicked on my “OneBrownLeaf” address a message appeared on a stark white screen that said, “The authors have deleted this blog. The content is no longer available.” That must be a mistake, I thought, and refreshed the screen. That must also be a mistake, I thought, seeing the very same message.  I closed Firefox and opened it once more; I typed in the address and there it was telling me I had deleted my blog.

I said (with some volume) “Oh no!!!!!” I may have said this repetitively, I can’t quite recall, what with the light-headedness and my hands pressed over my eyes.

I quickly found the WordPress support and emailed them something with the subject line, “Hellllllllp!!!!!!!!!” I could picture my blog just dangling there, not quite gone, retrievable like a wedding ring on the edge of the drain and if I got the word out fast enough they would respond and say, “Because of your quick thinking, Mrs. Klassen, we were able to save OneBrownLeaf from imminent destruction! Congratulations!”

WordPress has not returned my S.O.S. thus far, and it has given me some time to reflect on this experience.

When my website disappeared, I just kind of blanked out; I think it was the words PERMANENT AND IRREVERSIBLE. When some things go wrong in life, that is the way it seems. In varying degrees, a sense of panic creeps up my spine and spiders into my thoughts, wrapping my mind in a web of worry. I don’t consider myself a worrier, but that is when there is nothing to worry about. When something goes wrong, I can obsess over it.  I can lose sleep over it. I can wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.

But what is PERMANENT AND IRREVERSIBLE? 1 Corinthians 10:13 (in the Bible) says,

“No Temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

There are two words in this verse that might throw us off, the first temptation and the second be tempted can be a bit confusing; here’s another way of looking at it:

“For no temptation (no trial, adversity, affliction, trouble), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.”

There are some pretty serious things that we wrestle with in life and I do not mean to make light of pain; but I must gently suggest (note to self) that even pain is a door we can walk through; we can find ourselves in a new place, when we are ready, if we choose to do so. 1 Corinthians 10 isn’t just for the garden variety trials, after all. Even our worst things can have an alternate ending.

With that disclaimer, I will return to my blog story. What was PERMANENT AND IRREVERSIBLE there? My actions were; kind of, but not really. I did lose something: an address, connections with some strangers/followers, traffic; but I was able to piece most of it back together because I had a backup. Last week I made a backup file of my blog.  I didn’t really know how to do this, but I kind of figured it out and had even made a back-up site. I am sure this was God saying, “I think I should give that girl a shove in the right direction, because next week she is going to do something really stupid. Let’s help her out.”

I had glanced at the backup I had made at the time, but hadn’t really checked it out thoroughly and I think this was at the root of my panic-moment. The fact that I had a back-up didn’t jump out in front of me and say, “No worries! Got you covered!” When the reality of my error hit, I just froze. I should have known my back-up better because then, when my site went down, my error would have annoyed me, but that’s about all.

So many of the things I face, the things I have angst about are just perceived dangers. Something happens and all I can see is white and I have a horrible feeling something just went terribly wrong. Maybe it actually did, but is that it?

  1. First of all I can breathe, knowing that nothing is wasted. God has promised me that even the most troubling circumstances can all be turned around and used for actual good (Romans 8:28).
  2. God always has a strategy. I read this once (Ortberg, I think), that if one pictures life as a chess board, God always has a play, no matter how the pieces are arranged on the board. So, even though there are real worries in life, as 1 Corinthians 10 reminds me, there is always another move.
  3. I am never alone in any situation. Sometimes we just need to step out of the room and talk to Jesus who is ready, willing and able to help us (Isaiah 41:10)

How many times has God watch me sweat it out before I remember my back-up? If I am putting myself through the wringer, it is a clear sign that I either do not trust that my back-up is real or that my back-up is trust-worthy. If either of these theories are true, that means I have not taken the time to thoroughly look at Who my back-up is and how He operates.  Put plainly, I don’t know Jesus; I don’t know what I have; I am not familiar enough with His Words for them to make any difference.

So my little story has a happy ending, but not all my stories do. Sometimes what I have invested in is “gone” and sometimes the thing that mattered is “over” and sometimes it has felt as if the pain of something will “never go away”; but PERMANENT AND IRREVERSIBLE? No. As in the case of my blog, we do not walk through life unscathed, but in Christ, nothing is completely lost. Our perception of things cries, “What good could ever come of this?” And our back-up, Jesus, shows us how mercy works and always has the final, final, final word.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2)

— Teresa Klassen

Afterword: take some time to read Psalm 116

After-Afterword: Just thought I would share the note I got from WordPress just now

“Hi, I’m sorry, but deleted blogs cannot be restored or reused. Deleting a blog is permanent and the name cannot be used again…

Happiness Engineer”

Happiness Engineer? Happiness Engineer? 🙂 Now this just absolutely made my day!!!! I could write at least 4 things about this title alone and just might. Stay tuned.

After-After-After (sounds a bit like final, final, final, doesn’t it?): Just got ANOTHER email and here is what it says

“Hi there, I was able to successfully restore your deleted blog. Please note that this is usually not possible, and there are many clear warnings throughout the deletion process. Be very careful with that delete button in the future!

Best, Hew S.
Happiness Engineer”

Wahoo! Back in action. Liking that my tagline on my site is “Always A Faint Hope”; so true today.




One response

23 07 2010

Wow! What a great story and you really used the story to lift THE most important truth – Get to know Jesus Well!

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