In the olden days, when you turned on your computer, you got a blank screen with a blinking cursor.
Inside were all the folders and the files, just like now, but you had to know what the correct thing to type was to locate, find, and open it.
I remember, as a teacher, attending an after-school training session, where the head of English was teaching us the rudiments of working in DOS on the new suite of computers. Big boxes, small B&W monitors. I remember him saying that Microsoft were working on something new called Windows. It wouldn’t be doing anything new, but it would picture the information on the screen, so it would be easier to access. He thought it was ridiculous, as it would take up four times the amount of limited memory there was, and to no apparent advantage.
It struck me this evening, as we were taking part in the Ignite service, that a lot of time and effort had been spent on making the church look like an industrial unit with multi-coloured flood lights, an office, cafe and a shop. It was running in much the same way despite, so I can imagine that English teacher thinking it was all so unneccessary.
And yet, without all that effort, the invitation, or rather the message that you are welcome here, would not have been received. The access to the good news would not have happened for some.
In those olden days, DOS was great for those who had been trained as touch-typists. They had the skills to learn the codes and delight in new shortcuts and ways to do the job. If you couldn’t type, you were unlikely to bother getting beyond PACMAN.
Windows invited everyone in, and now so many people have learned to touch-type, and unknowingly have become fluent in the ways of DOS. It still lurks there, you know, underneath the pictures.
Thank you Ignite Team. On these evenings you are the window makers, the windows that people are looking through to find Jesus.
(PS if you need a key to make sense of what the connections are, try DOS represents DISCIPLESHIP)