iOS7 may be a familiar sight for you. If you don’t have one of the many i-devices (iPad, iPod, iPhone, iParty, iMonkey, etc) you’ll wonder if anything changed. But don’t worry, for me– it was a week late that I updated my dear little iPad Mini to its new color and shape scheme of the iOS7 software update. It’s pretty fun, now I’ve gotten used to the whole visual aspect change, and I’m looking forward to continuing drawing, reading, typing, alarming, calendaring! But seriously, it has that extra ooo-it’s-new excitement, which I like. Who doesn’t?

Before you think I’m going to go into a spiritual tangent on how “we always have to have the new thing” and oh shouldn’t we just stick with one thing etc etc… please let me tell you, that wasn’t going through my mind at all! This morning I was slouched on my swivel chair at my desk, in a layer of power cords and USB plugs on laptops tangled with iPad and wireless keyboard? I was thinking something very different. Something about waiting. 

Sometimes new software comes out and it’s a flop and everyone wonders “what were they thinking?!”. Other times it’s incredible, and everyone’s into it, and we’re all so excited for it (Mountain Lion, anyone?!). Then other times… well, it’s that change that all the basics are the same… but somehow, everything looks different. And somehow as your little lighted bars going from 0 to 45% to 99% completed to finally “Initializing” and “Installing”, something is shifting. 

My tendency is to distract myself as I’m waiting. You know the feeling, “oh, a dozen updates need to be installed so I’ll just pick up my phone for awhile or do that cleaning or go on Facebook…” and so on and so forth. But what if you can’t? What if your device that helps you function is the one that is getting the plumbing sorted? You can’t just be Mario and brothers and explore the tunnels of your iPad’s hardware with that oh-too-familiar theme music. I mean, yes, Laura Hackett was playing on YouTube on my laptop as my iPad was getting organized (imagine reshuffling your iPhoto library onto your backup drive so you can have room to update your iPad). So I do two things at once.

But what if we couldn’t?

What if we were forced to face the waiting we were in? What if you had to sit there on your swivel chair and stare at the percentages going up like little pill-sized cylinders? Do you think we would be as shocked with what the update looked like when it finally came? Or do you think we would be filled with anticipation? Curiosity? Wonder?

We were made to be updated. I mean, it’s something the digital kids know very well– everything is changing around us, so we have to adapt to new circumstances and changes and learn how to function in them. Before you get worried that I am turning into an evolutionist, let me explain. And maybe you will only understand when I use an agricultural term. Growth. 

We were made to grow. Things change and shift around us– the weather tries us, shapes us, hurts us and heals us but we were made to grow stronger through it all. A software update is a computer’s way of growing, of coping with the changes, of time, of everything going around in the world of international webbing. Sometimes drastic things need to change so we can handle what is to come.

Do I distract myself as I am waiting for these changes? Or do I take the moment to read the word and realize that “the humble receive favor” and so I don’t need to freak out that I don’t know everything at this moment now? It’s okay. We’re meant to grow. And we do so in the waiting. 

On this blue-skied afternoon, after iOS7 had transformed my iPad Mini, my computer finally updated after months, and my iPod Touch was finally charged… I had a quesadilla (mm so good with sweet chili sauce and avocado)… hung out with my house-family… wrote a card… then went on a walk to mail that card (this was a good day for me)… and then sat down at the base of an oak tree. It had tiny lime-green leaves, fresh with the aroma of spring. Growth is visible all around in a New Zealand October, and being raised in seasonless Hawaii means I am fascinated by spring. Spring. The time of new growth, of hope. 

Don’t despise updates, or the wait it takes to get one. And don’t distract yourself from the beauteous journey as you’re being led around those secret-garden pathways… don’t miss all the love for you. 

I dare you to stare at the little bar even when it doesn’t seem to be moving.
Because it will. And so will our hearts– because we’re not alone in this journey.

Jesus is with you all the way.
iOS7 is just a little part of that journey. 🙂

Photos: iPad Mini screenshot; Spring oak in Bethlehem, NZ.