BY BILL BRIMER
I felt the pit of my stomach drop down to my feet. A sense of dread washed over me. Everything that I’d recorded on my computer for the last four years was suddenly inaccessible. I’d lost everything. The nightmare scenario had become reality. The recording software I use called Pro Tools was now completely unusable. I couldn’t access my previous work and I couldn’t record new material. Thousands of dollars in studio equipment and software was now rendered useless. It was all my fault. I foolishly upgraded my MacBook software to El Capitan without checking to make sure that Pro Tools was compatible. The two not only don’t work together, it seems they are toxic when combined. The whole system goes haywire and your computer won’t even restart correctly. I had effectively invited in this disaster and corrupted everything.
My friend James who is my cohost for our weekly podcast God Geeks was there when I realized what had happened. We had planned to record the show but the computer was going bonkers. We scoured the internet on our phones and all we could find were all the horror stories and warnings not to do what I had already done. I sat and stared at the distorted Apple logo on the screen in angst as I mouthed the words, “How do you undo it?” I wished so badly I had a time machine.
This reminds me so much of my sin. I invite the disaster into myself and corrupt everything. When I do something that I know is sinful it’s like I’m looking for an “upgrade” that promises to be better and deliver something new but it actually just ruins everything. I’m not alone here. We all do this in our own way. We all have those sins that entice us with pleasure or promise and then just poison us. We invite the disaster thinking it will pay off and it only leaves us bankrupt. We hear the horror stories all the time of people who have done the same thing. We read in the scriptures how our sin causes us and those we love nothing but heartache, pain, dread and death. It never works. It’s always toxic. But we foolishly hit that “upgrade” button anyway and are left asking how it could be undone. How can we go back to how it was before we invited in this virus? We wish we had a time machine.
James and I almost gave up hope on fixing my software issue. We looked at costly upgrades for Pro Tools but the problem couldn’t be fixed. As a last ditch effort I searched, “how to uninstall El Capitan” which was the upgrade that had caused the disaster. But there is no way to uninstall it. There was no way forward. However it turns out there is a way to go back. You can restore the computer but only if you have an external hard drive and have used Time Machine to back up your system. There was hope. I remembered I did have an external hard drive and I did back it up with Time Machine. In fact, I had backed it up just ten days before. The way forward was to go back and I had a time machine! All I had to do was connect the hard drive and restore my computer from the last back up. I quickly followed the instructions and James and I watched as the corrupted hard drive was totally erased and restored to its rightful condition. That external hard drive was a guarantee that all the wrong could be erased and all the right could be restored. I shouted, “Thank you Jesus!” I was so relieved. It was like having an actual time machine.
Just like the corruption on my computer reminded me of my sin, it turns out there is a way to go back and be restored. This happens in baptism. Colossians 2:12 tells us we have been buried with Christ in baptism and we have also been raised with Him. The death and resurrection of Jesus took place completely outside of us in history but it is connected to us in our baptism. It’s almost like that external hard drive. Jesus accomplished everything for me externally. My righteousness is in Christ and is delivered to me through faith as a gift. He is my guarantee. The way forward is to go back and I do have a time machine! In baptism He gave me an actual event in my life as a tangible gospel declaration of when He put His name on me. In our baptism we have the historical comfort of knowing that God has done for us what we could not do and He has connected us to Christ and His work. We are plugged in and restored to our rightful condition in Christ. He has uploaded our sin to Himself and paid for it. He has erased it from us and downloaded to us the full righteousness of God.
When there seems like no way forward, you can go back. Remember your baptism. When that sense of dread that comes with sin washes over you, remember that the waters of baptism have washed over you. Remember that on the cross you died with Jesus Christ and you were raised with Him to new life. You have been erased and renewed, washed and adorned. Be reminded. Be restored. You are His and He is yours.
Bill Brimer is a singer/songwriter, producer and guitarist from Dallas, Texas. He is the co-founder, Associate Pastor and Creative Director at SoulThirst Church in The Colony, Texas. He has recorded and released three original albums, Snakes & Doves (Grace Bomb Records 2011), Love Above All (Grace Bomb Records 2012) and Bill Brimer & The Skybirds (SoulThirst Sound 2016). All his music is funded by donations from generous listeners and available for free download. His music has been described as a modern blend of vintage country, punk and gospel. He is the co-host and producer of the weekly podcast God Geeks.