June 1, 2009

Old Dog, New Tricks

I wish I had something insightful and wise to share tonight, but my brain hurts. I just got back from taking a class in the one topic I’ve desperately avoided learning for the past ten years: HTML.

Don’t know what HTML is? Go to the top of your web browser and look at your menu toolbar. Click on VIEW and then click on SOURCE. See all that crazy text that makes you think you took a wrong turn somewhere in cyberspace? That’s what I’m learning how to do.

Looks like fun, doesn’t it?

After a three-hour class my head feels like it’s reached full capacity and might blow at any moment! And all I have to show for my efforts (besides the aching head) is 21 lines of code that display five sentences of text—all black, Times Roman.

Wow! I can see the phone ringing off the hook from clients needing websites filled with lengths of black and white text! It’ll be retro. (Isn’t this how the internet actually started decades ago?)

The good (bad?) news is that the course continues for the rest of the week. Maybe by the end I’ll be able to create something good enough to print out and hang on my fridge—if the kids will give up some space.

Generally, I love computers. I’m good at figuring things out and enjoy the constant challenges of the digital age. For the most part, I get computers. But this coding thing—one look at HTML and my brain seizes, saying, "Blah, blah, blah. I'm not listening."

You may wonder if I have a choice, why I’m even taking this class in the first place. One reason is that in my line of work as a graphic designer, websites are a natural extension of what I do. It’s an area of business I’ve avoided far too long. My primary motivation? I want to help my church design their website and do other web-based materials.

So, for the sake of advancing the gospel I’m looking the hyper text cyber monster in the eye and saying, “Bring it on!”

In our spiritual lives there are lots of times when the thing we really don’t want to try/do/confront/learn/give up/take on is the very thing we need to embrace if we want to grow our faith. Often that step isn’t even the end goal; it’s just leading us to the next thing. As has oft been quoted, “God doesn’t care about our comfort, he cares about our character.” And if we want to live a life pleasing to the Lord and offer ourselves as living sacrifices, who are we to say, “Sorry God, it’s just not my thing.”

As Oswald Chambers says, “The call of God is an expression of God's nature, not our nature. . . The call of God is not the echo of my nature; my affinities and personal temperament are not considered. . . To be brought into the zone of the call of God is to be profoundly altered."

I don’t know if God’s called me to take an HTML course, but I do know that expanding my mind and trying to grow, honors the gifts I’ve been given. Plus, it really is fun to learn new things…even if they give me a headache.

Wish me luck this week. I think I might need it!

What new thing are you going to do today?

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship." (Romans 12:1)


Dan said...

[banner]'I hear ya, sister.' - awesomegodordinarygirl.blogspot.com[/banner][meta name="TITLE" content='I do new stuff every day, but this sounds really hard.' - "danregan"][meta name="description" content="Try not to go crazy, or everything you see will start looking like HTML code.' [meta name="AUTHOR" content=""]

Sue J. said...

As we often say on a friend's blog, "WAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....," Dan.

I often think about going back to school to do this very thing that you are tackling this week. I don't think that I'm as computer savvy as you, however, as I get a bit lost in how computers do what they do. I can do stuff, just don't get how they work.

As I was reading your post, I thought about some of those books of the Bible that I've read but never really dug into--Ezekiel, Chronicles and Kings....those Old Testament books in the middle. That glossy-eyed stare comes over and I find myself reading only a verse or two. But, I know if I don't study these that I'm missing out on some key connections with the rest of His Word.

Maybe you don't sense the God call to take an html class, but you do sense God calling you to something bigger, and you'll need the class to get there, as you've said. I think He's always calling us to something "bigger"--we just don't always recognize that, 3 hours in to our html class!

(Deep breaths) GO GIRL!!

Terri Tiffany said...

Good for you for taking this course. I wish I knew how to do it too but don't want to take the time to learn. What am I doing new? I am studying for to pass the state test for a broker and I hate many parts of it! Ugh but I know someday it might come in handy.

Runner Mom said...

I'll send you some Advil, chickadee! Bless your heart! I am rejoicing that I am NOT in computer class this summer(I was in 2 classes last summer!!). You will make it!! I can do ALL--even computers--things through Christ who gives me strength!! And I love why you're doing this! Awesome!!

Love ya,

Loved Dan's comment!!!

Sassy Granny ... said...

I find that, even at 61+, the eagerness to learn & grow is akin to the fountain of youth for me. Sometimes I even amaze myself when I tackle some new technology, or pursue some new course of study. Everywhere I look there are signs of God; evidences of His amazing power and brilliant creation. No doubt you're discovering them/Him even amidst HTM!

Be blessed,

Cheryl Barker said...

Good luck, Kelli. My brain hurts for yours :)

Saw your comment over on my blog -- thanks so much for your prayers as I take on my new task. I'll actually be making my first calls today to Angel Tree headquarters as well as to families who have expressed an interest in camping. So thankful the Lord is with me.

Saying a prayer for you, too!

Anonymous said...

If this isn't insightful, I don't know what insightful is! But my brain hurts for you and I'll keep you in prayer this week!

Today I did something new! I got up early and ran in the rain with some good friends! UGH!

Justin said...

Good luck, Kelli! I hope to become as bold, curious, and not-set-in-my-ways as you are!

Peggy said...

I know that you can do this. You are the kind of person who can do just about anything because you know that God is right there with you and encouraging you, as well as all the rest of us.
You go my friend!
Blessings and Love....Peggy

Sarah (GenMom) said...

Good for you for trying something new! That is hard stuff. It is a great goal.

Did you go to the writer's meeting this last month? I am sorry I didn't make it. Maybe this month!