FROGGER Friday, May 8, 2009 - 7:20 PM
Computers have thousands of uses today, but I've never heard of one used in quite the way our first computer was used many years ago!
My husband Bill and I have two children, Bryan and Kristalyn. They are truly gifts of God to us. We enjoyed every aspect of having children as they were growing up except one...HOMEWORK! Although both Bill and I are trained teachers, all parents know that it is different when you are working with your own children. Somehow they always find diversions that lead to anything and everything except the desired completion of their homework. By the time the assignments are finally completed, most parents are ready to scream, "Calgon, take me away!" That is the situation that Bill and I found ourselves in.
On top of the normal problems with getting the homework done, although both of our children were beautiful and smart, both had learning disabilities. Kristalyn had Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity and Bryan had Attention Deficit Disorder. This multiplied the homework problem many times over.
If we are honest, most of us have a few fantasies that rarely come true. You know some of them:
1. Grow up and marry a handsome Christian prince.
2. Have Ed McMahon knock on your door with all of that money!
3. Finish school and NEVER have homework again!!!
If you are a parent, you know about that last one. Just about the time you finish your own schooling and homework, along come children with more homework than you ever dreamed of having.
One wonderful day, the solution to our problems with homework came to us. Over and over again on television, we kept seeing the amazing things that computers could do. Now, you must understand that this was during the very early days of personal computers. One of the computer developers' slogans was, "Every home should have one!" We were desperate, so one Saturday we headed to our local computer store. After much searching and listening to many sales pitches, we purchased a Commodore 64.
Boy, did we have plans for that computer! Why, we could put a program containing Bryan's spelling words and multiplication tables on the computer and it would do the teaching for us. There were easier learning programs we could put on there for Kristalyn who was three years younger. And, to top that off, we could even do our budget on it! Our days of frustration were about to be over, or so we thought UNTIL we opened the instruction manual.
It may as well have been written in Chinese. Why, it would take weeks just to write one program! We struggled with it but computers were just more primitive and complicated than today and we certainly were unprepared to devote the time that it would take us to develop the programs that were supposed to SAVE us so much time. So, we came to the conclusion that we had wasted our money.
However, there was one thing that we all had fun with on that old Commodore 64. It came with a game called Frogger where one had to get the frog to jump from one lily pad to another without falling into the water. We loved that game! The children spent hours playing Frogger. Even Bill and I played Frogger. But as with all novelties and games, the new eventually wore off. The computer was put in the spare bedroom where if collected dust...much dust!!!
One day, after many months, God used that computer in a way that I would never have imagined. I was dusting the spare bedroom and finally came around to the computer and began to dust it. As I carefully removed all that built up dust from lack of use, I heard deep within my soul the still, small voice of God speaking right to me. He said, "Karen, your Bible is about as useless to you as that computer. You haven't really studied it and you don't really have a clue as to the many uses it has for your life. It is simply something that you read dutifully at night and at church without really grasping so much that is in it for you. It is My love letter to you! I know that you have accepted Me in your heart but there is so much more and you are trying to do it the hard way, without Me."
Strangely enough, at that very time, I had friends trying to get me into an inductive Bible study at our church so that I could learn with them to study the Bible for myself and not just rely on preachers and teachers. Being a preacher's kid, I had heard the Bible all of my life and believed every word of it from Genesis to Maps, but still, I knew there was so much more. I began to realize that I was trying to live the Christian life on a starvation diet. I would let my minister feed me on Sunday morning and Sunday night and then go in on Wednesday for a midweek snack. No wonder I often felt so defeated in trying to please the Lord and live the Christian life! I began to learn to study the Bible inductively and began to grow so fast that I could not believe the change in my life. Others noticed it, too. Later, my husband and I would go through great tragedy. Had it not been for the learning and the studying of God's precepts and promises that I had done, I would have never made it through. But I did learn and God was so faithful!!!!
I had heard the statement, "God can use any old bush", but I never thought He would choose to use that old Commodore computer to draw me to Himself, prepare me for warfare, and bring me through the great storm to come! God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow AND He is way ahead of us in the use of modern technology!
Karen B. King (1984)