A New Operating System

October 1st, 2019
This article is featured in the Intentional Spirituality (Nov/Dec/Jan 2019-20) issue of Circuit Rider

My cell phone recently updated to a new operating system overnight. I had a message of the news, and then quickly realized how much had changed. My email functions looked very different (apparently no one prints anymore but me, because the print option is now hard to find).

This new operating system got me thinking… I’ve had a lot of updates, too. I’m at Ginger 4.7 of my internal operating system. 

Ginger 1.0 was a sponge, taking in the world around her with big dreams. Ginger 2.0 was about people pleasing and had a few bugs. Ginger 3.0 was about partnership and motherhood. Ginger 4.0 left a business career to go to seminary. 

Each version of Ginger has become more rooted in who she is, what she values, and finding her purpose. Each version has had less ego and more compassion. Each version speaks more truth and finds more courage. Along the way, Ginger became less ‘What’s in it for me?’ and more ‘How can I help?’ 

I can see the changes and the desire to keep upgrading as I reflect on my life. I still have issues to work on, but so far, every version is better than the last. I like Ginger 4.7. She is the most authentic version yet. But I also look forward to the version updates that lie ahead. God just keeps refining me and guiding me toward more light, love, truth, and grace. 

Every day brings an opportunity for a system upgrade. We can choose to rise to a new version of ourselves. I think this is what Paul illustrates when he says, “change the former way of life that was part of the person you once were, corrupted by deceitful desires.  Instead, renew the thinking in your mind by the Spirit and clothe yourself with the new person created according to God’s image in justice and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24). We (with God) get to do that. It’s just acting on a decision to upgrade the way we live in the world.

The stuff we aren’t proud of—arrogance, greed, lying, cheating—we can upgrade out of with a decision to let God guide us. 

We can choose to be the love in the room every day. We get to determine how we show up in the world. We can do the work to change our habits, tendencies, and thinking. We can keep getting better, bit by bit. And we can help each other. My versions have been heavily influenced by people helping me grow and by opportunities that were offered to me. We help each other live into our potential. And if we are all moving toward God's light, imagine the possibilities for humanity ahead!

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