CINDY THE SACRISTAN...
Cracking The Code...
Earlier this year Cindy had a major disaster when one fine day her computer stopped functioning when she was in the middle of writing an email. It took some seconds before she realized this was a terminal illness and nothing could be done to save the poor computer heading direct for computer heaven — do not pass GO and do not collect $200.
Cindy remembered receiving a mysterious email from a friend she did not regularly correspond with. However being from someone she knew she opened it. Mistake Number One. It was supposed to contain photographs from the friend but was a bit strange so Cindy just pressed the 'delete' button. For the following few days the computer did a couple of strange things before coming to a total stop. It appears the friend had a virus in her computer files and she was unaware of the problem. While she slept, her computer did its own little thing and emailed the virus to everyone in her address list. How naughty can a toy become?
All efforts were made by the professionals to retrieve memory, but only a few things were saved. Silly Cindy for not backing up all her writings on spare disks. So this was one of the disasters in Cindy's life during 2006. The Big Computer Nightmare. New bits and pieces were purchased to restructure the poor thing back into working order. But it was never the same. Cindy would try and retrieve something only to find it was lost forever in cyber space.
So one of the big learning experiences for Cindy this year has been "a computer is only pieces of scrap metal stuck together with screws and blue tack". She has learned to not trust a piece of metal with her deepest secrets ever again. A computer is likely to chew them up in the flick of an eyelid. When your information is gone — it is gone. That is it. Salvage rarely possible. If you haven't backed up then you are a silly goose.
How often do you hear someone say they had just finished typing a long email or an interesting post and when they went to that little old send button — woops, all that writing just disappeared? The frustration usually leads to a string of not very nice expletives and if the problem gets any worse the language is likely to become even more colourful. Cindy's family dive for cover when things are not going well on the computer.
So Cindy now looks upon her computer as nothing more than a sophisticated toy. It might run on electricity rather than expensive batteries, but it is just as likely to stop as a remote control car being guided around the room.
To put it simply "You cannot trust computers".
Computers are trained to do things automatically. Ever tried lining up a column with numbers at the beginning and suddenly the whole thing begins to be indented and line spacings appear in places where you did not want them. A scream of frustration brings the family running, thinking you have cut off a finger or something making a banana sandwich — instead it is because the naughty computer will not do what you are trying to tell it to do.
"Why don't you read the manual Mum?" suggests one of Cindy's children.
"Because it is 3 inches thick and I don't know where to find the information I want and if I did I cannot understand gobbldegok, so what is the point" Cindy retorts, nostrils begging to flare.
Cindy's message for this week...
So there it is. Cindy's message for this week is to tell you that computers may have become an important part of all our lives — particularly those of us who love chatting to friends on MSN, sending and receiving emails, playing games, writing posts etc. BUT, they are not infallible — in fact they are unreliable and as human as some of the stuff we program into them.
Cindy wonders what God thinks about so many women having surgery for breast enlargements, and why all that spam about penis enlargements? Are we living in a world obsessed with the size and shape of our private bits? As a female Cindy does not need dozens of spam each day offering her discount Viagra and extra length. If she had a penis she would have been a priest anyway, and then as a celibate person size and length of the penis would have been of no importance — as long as those dangly bits were in fine working order and a vow was made to never use them for any other purpose than to pee, all would be well. So GO AWAY SPAMMERS and HACKERS, get a real job and lift your eyes above your belly buttons for goodness sakes.
It might bid us all well to think about the fact that God is the only completely reliable reality in our lives. Unlike a computer, God does not have whims of fancy and cause havoc for us as our favourite toy is able to do at any time.
Cindy says to not get stressed about Christmas. It is meant to be a time of peace and joy, sharing and family. If you have dozens of people coming to your place for lunch on Christmas Day, tell them to bring the food. After all it might take you weeks to clean up the house in readiness for this onslaught of Christian hospitality. Why do we do it? How much simpler Christmas would be for everyone if we cut out gifts for everyone over the age of ten? There would be time for conversations rather than the bustle of grappling with overcrowded car parks as we rack our brains with what to buy people for gifts. Our houses are mostly overloaded with 'stuff' anyway. Cindy says "Get over it". Make a change for your family and just maintain the customs that really matter. Only the shops will suffer financially — what a racket they have built up in our minds eh? They spend thousands on advertising urging people to push their credit cards over the top. Why? Think about it.
With Advent racing along and Fr Cunning's farewell coming up this weekend it has been a busy time for Cindy and the other sacristans. May God have mercy on us all.
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