Kindle Crash

“Come with Me to a quiet place and get some rest.” – Jesus, as quoted in Mark 6:31 (NIV)

One of the things I enjoy doing in the evenings after supper (besides watch the Pirates game) is putting a jigsaw puzzle together on my Kindle.

Yes, you read that right—there are jigsaw puzzle apps that can be downloaded to mobile devices. I downloaded only one puzzle app (a free one) on my Kindle, but it’s so much fun, I’ll put together three puzzles in one evening.

Now, working on a jigsaw puzzle is a good mind-stimulating activity, and such activities have been proven to sharpen the brains of us senior citizens. The problem with that is I don’t need my mind to be stimulated in the evening when I’m wanting—needing—to unwind, physically and mentally, after a full day’s work. And the glow from electronic screens, it’s been found, can interfere with the body’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin, causing insomnia.

After a couple of weeks of restless, broken sleep, I removed the jigsaw puzzle app from my Kindle, not only so I could get a better night’s rest, but also because the app was causing my Kindle to crash.

For those of you who blissfully aren’t into technology, a crash occurs when the device, whether a mobile phone, Kindle, or computer, stops working. Sometimes only the program being used stops. Other times, the whole thing freezes up and you have to shut it off and turn it on again. That’s called “rebooting.”

My Kindle also crashes when I get too many apps going at the same time or the battery gets low. And that jigsaw puzzle app sure drains the battery fast.

I’m just like my Kindle—there are times I “crash” too. Like when I take on a project that eats up precious time and energy but has little or no real value. Or when I get too many things going at the same time (I’m not a good multi-tasker). Or when I don’t give my batteries enough time to recharge before I’m up and running again.

Like my Kindle, I need to reboot—shut off the busyness and plug in to the Power Source long enough to recharge sufficiently.

Image courtesy of duron123 at
Image courtesy of duron123 at

Studies have found that spending a week in the great outdoors camping and getting away from electronic devices and the too noisy, too bright world we live in can reset our biological clocks, restoring the natural rhythms our Creator gave us.

Too often we rush through day after day after day, we burn the midnight oil to get more done, and we exhaust ourselves in the process. There’s a reason God established the Sabbath rest: We need it—physically, mentally, and spiritually—or we, too, will “crash.”

“Come away with Me to a quiet place and get some rest,” Jesus told His disciples after a busy time of ministry.

He beckons to us today: “Come to Me all you who are weary, and I will give you rest. Let Me lead you beside quiet waters. Rest in verdant, peaceful pastures.” (Matthew 11:28,Psalm 23)

Do you feel as though you’re heading for a crash?

It’s time, my friend, to reboot.

When I’m heading for a crash, O Lord, unplug me! Amen.

Extra tea: Read and meditate on Genesis 2:1–3; 1 Kings 17:2–4


Keeping Peace in the Fish Tank

Image courtesy of khunaspix at
Image courtesy of khunaspix at

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. – Romans 12:18 (NIV)

When my son and his family go on vacation, I take care of their fish.

There are two of them, a red one and a blue one, each about two inches long. They reside in separate tanks because if they were together, they’d attack each other.

Their clear, portable tanks have to be kept on separate counters so the fish can’t see each other. If they do, they get all puffed up, which means they’re agitated. And you don’t want agitated fish—you gotta keep peace in the fish tanks.

Not only are they unsociable, but they’re also finicky eaters and don’t like the same fish food, although they are, I believe, the same type of fish. (NOTE: My editor at the Indiana Gazette identified them as Bettas, a Siamese fighting fish.)

Bubbles, the red fish, likes the red powdery stuff that gets all over the countertop no matter how careful I am doling it out. Rob-Andrew MacHarper, my baseball nut grandson’s fish (named after his three favorite players—Roberto Clemente, Andrew McCutchen and Bryce Harper) will consume only freeze-dried bloodworms.

Some folks are like those fish—they get all puffed up and agitated for whatever reason and are about as approachable as a hungry piranha. When they’re in a room with someone they don’t get along with, they can get so disturbed as to attack the other person, if not physically, then verbally or mentally. They might try to keep it to themselves, but you can tell they’re agitated.

Now, I’m a peaceable person. I don’t like contention, controversy, or conflict. But I’ve learned that you can do all you can to get along with others, but sometimes it just isn’t possible.

Another person’s behavior is out of your control, but Scripture tells us to focus on what is in your control: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18).

“As far as it depends on you” means that I do all I can to make peace. Sometimes that means avoiding that person, asking God to place His love for them in my heart and not dwelling on things that will agitate me.

“Live at peace with everyone”—no exclusions. Oh, pulleeze! How do I do that?

Paul tells us: bless—don’t curse—them, pray for them, put aside your pride, don’t be full of yourself, don’t seek revenge for wrongs, overcome the bad with good (Romans 12:9–21).

Jesus commanded us to love our enemies and pray for those who mistreat us (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27–28). He doesn’t command us to spend time with them, just to love them and pray for them.

Sometimes peace means living in separate tanks. Sometimes it means going out of your way to please a finicky person.

It ain’t easy, but you gotta keep peace in the fish tank.

Place Your love and forgiveness in my heart, O Lord, so I can obey Your command to love and pray for everyone—no exclusions. Amen.

Extra tea: Read and meditate on Romans 12:9–21

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