Things That Never Get Outdated

Today I bade goodbye to Penny. Three years ago, she became mine for a measly price of P2,800. Now as she grows older, and SLOWER, her upgrading price has gone up, while her usability has gone low. But she is one machine I’d learned to love. She watched me grow from one who knew nothing about Microsoft Word to one who knew something, like hacking– CPUs, memories, disks, legacy and I/O devices. Our three years journey was one most fruitful, because she had honed my skills to the utmost. I had adapted to her ways (”Checksum error”), her idiosyncrasies (”Try Safe mode”), her habits (”Your computer maybe at risk. Click here to update”) and her tantrums (”Could not find boot ini.”). Because she’s grown tired of Windows 98, she shacked up with Windows 2000, but finally settled with Windows XP. No one, definitely no one understood her more than I did; no one lovingly cared for her more than I did. You could say that today our parting was a tearful one. Penny it was who kept me company in my early blogging days. But I have to move on. Since she refused to be upgraded, rather, she could no longer be upgraded, I gave her away, and took on a new laptop.

My youngest daughter was too happy to have Penny the Pentium 2.

Things in this world get old or outdated. I thought about it last night too as I talked to a fellow preacher who’s on his last semester in a graduate school. He and his fellow students are on the cutting edge, the laptop-carrying generation, not just the ordinary laptops, mind you, but the Dual Core Centrino, 1 gig RAM, 180 gig hard disk, Windows Vista OS. Because they’re groomed to be counselors, teaching and lecturing became common affairs, and the DLP (”digital live projector”) became the common gadget they attach to their Neo Emprivas. The suns of modern technology definitely shine so brightly in the classrooms.

But everything man invents will eventually go out of date. Someday even personal laptops, DLPs, RAMs and HDDs will become obsolete. CRT monitors have just given way to Plasma, but soon Plasma too will be outdated. Everything in this world to which man has attached some significance will go the way of the old and will become null or nothing.

Does our mortal insignificance baffle you? Man, who started as couple in some garden in the Middle East, has now become a dot in the universe. There’s too many of us. I hate it when they don’t call me by my first name, but in front of an ATM, in a bank, in front of a ticket booth, I am just a number. But maybe, someday, numbers too will give way to encrypted dots.

But some significant things remain and never get outdated.

The news that Someone had suffered agony and death for me, for you, and for them, for Muslims, for Jews and for those who are neither Muslims nor Jews–an insignificant bunch of creatures–comes to me as significant. He died for the Jews who killed Him. He died for the Muslims who did not even believe He died for them. I never asked Him to, but I am most thankful to know that a drop of His blood had also been shed for me.

The news of His death, burial, resurrection, ascension and coming again is history about two thousand years old, but the significance of it remains. That news is the Gospel, and it is Allah’s instrument to save Jews and Muslims and those who are neither Jews nor Muslims.

Muslims, Jews, and those who are neither Muslims nor Jews need forgiveness. Why talk about heaven when all I need most today is be cleansed from my sin? Once I am cleansed, I am made new. Heaven is for those who have been made new.

Why talk about Paradise when it is a new relationship with my God and with my fellow man that is of paramount importance? If I love my God–Allah– I would no longer hurt, maim, or kill my fellow man. If I love my God I would accept Jesus as his Prophet who spoke for God, the Lamb who was offered for my sin, the High Priest who entered the most Holy of Holies to mediate for me, the King who rules my life, and the God who will come again and judge me.

These facts never change.

Let the gospel in its purity be preached through far and wide. It is the story that constantly reminds us that our only hope is Jesus.

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