Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our former Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.
“It is nice to know that the computer understands the problem. But I would like to understand it too.” ~Eugene Wigner, Physicist and Nobel Prize Laureate
Like many marketplace leaders of my generation, I have entered into an uneasy truce with computing devices. On the one hand, they empower me. On the other hand, they frustrate me.
For example, my iPhone sometimes freezes while running a program and no amount of (increasingly forceful!) finger jabbing unfreezes it. Becoming upset doesn’t accomplish anything and I don’t feel like investing my time learning how to avoid and/or deal with these challenges.
As it happens, I do have one trick that fixes most of these problems. I simply turn off the device and then restart it after a few seconds. I don’t know why this works. In some cases, however, I understand this restart purges software bugs by restoring factory settings on the device.
It occurred to me recently that the concept of “hitting restart” (or “restoring factory settings”) is at the heart of the Christian message. This picture from the computer realm may be viewed as a metaphor for what each of us must do to experience the full life God desires for us.
It can be difficult to muster the courage necessary to hit the “restart” button.
Why might a personal restart be in order? After all, according to the Bible, every single person ever born has been created in the image of God. Unfortunately, as a result of humanity’s rebellion against God’s rule, the “God image” in us has been marred. We are all infected from birth by a human-specific bug called “rebellious spirit.”
If you’re skeptical, simply observe little children for a few minutes. An objective assessment quickly confirms the dark side of their nature, particularly when compared with God’s standards set forth in the Bible. Moreover, none of us is able to change our predisposition to rebel against God’s plans and purposes (if only through indifference) by an act of her or his will.
His perfect standards may be analogized to the original human “factory settings.” The wonderful news is that God, our Creator, has provided the (only) way to restore those original factory settings. That way is to admit we’re wrong and accept Jesus’s free offer to forgive and lead us. While it may be easy to understand the need for forgiveness, it can be difficult to muster the humility (and the courage) to hit the “restart button.”
When we take this action, God restores our factory settings by making us alive to Him. Paul, the Apostle, succinctly captures this wonderful truth as follows: “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Have you “hit restart” yet? Do you have questions? I encourage you to try out one of our professional peer groups.
Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.