Lurking Lions – Look, See, Pray

Lions in pictures, zoos and books… on the TV… or sleeping. These are all acceptable encounters with large predatory pussycats. But live, loose, and hungry- not so cute!

One zoo has a warning notice, roughly saying this: “Beware! A lion looks at you and sees meat.”

Warning notices exist for a reason. Danger!

And if you miss or ignore the sign… trouble awaits like a pouncing puss in a bad mood. Today I encountered a “computer lion” also known as – “Don’t do that, Richard. You’ll be sorry. Oops. Told you you’d be sorry!”

I missed the sign until too late. Hastily deleting unwanted emails before dashing off to a meeting, I discovered why “hastily” and “delete” should NEVER go together when computers are concerned. Hungry savage beasties lurk in wait for the unwary- and I had more bitten off than even the lion could chew.

Trying to delete one last email, the cursor sort of “slipped” (ahem) also spelt “You idiot, Richard!” – and I deleted the entire email folder.

All of it.

Gone.

Not there.

Aarrgh!

My fault, I suppose. Although a clearer, more helpful warning “Do you really mean to do that?” sign would have been a nice thing for the programmers to include…

Anyway, saving 30 seconds cost me three hours of panic and trying different ways to find and UNDELETE approximately 3,000 emails. It also tested my sanctification and verbal self-control. Saying “bother” in the face of calamity is unsatisfying at best, and aggravating at worst. BOTHER!

How often and how easily simple mistakes and bad choices can turn life into a carnival (carnivore?) of doom. Especially when we don’t pay attention and don’t look out for warnings.

Peter, the apostle and friend of Jesus, knew about mishaps and bad choices- and was apt to shoot off his mouth before engaging brain (I don’t think he’d have liked computers…). In 1 Peter 5 v8 he wrote wisely about something he’d learned the hard way.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

To ruin your day takes a hungry lion. To really bother things up requires a computer. Or a spiritual enemy out for your blood.

So, Richard, be alert. Don’t let lions, computers, or anything else trap you.

(In case you were worried for me and my fading sanity, I have now recovered the emails from the server. My gibbering has eased. And my patience, tolerance, and self-control have been given a good gallop through the digital paddock. PLEASE don’t make the mistakes I have made- there isn’t always a happy ending!)

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