God and computer problems, Part I

March 13, 2008 | Daily Spirituality |

Remember back when I said that the old domain for this blog, et-tu.blogspot.com, would always work? How I assured readers that, despite any epic sagas that might be unfolding in the custom domain registration department, one rock-solid anchor of stability was that at least there would never be any problems with the old address? In a sanity-testing turn of events, the new custom domain, ConversionDiary.com, is working fine (for now), but the old domain is not.

The reason I spontaneously decided to get a custom domain is because it sounded so easy (excuse me for a moment while I look for a pen and my “Worst Ideas Ever” list…); for some odd reason I thought my original Blogspot address would automatically forward to my new domain so that any existing links or bookmarks to my site would still work. Where on earth did I get that crazy idea? Oh, wait, I remember. Because Blogger said “your original Blogspot address will automatically forward to your new domain [so that] any existing links or bookmarks to your site will still work.”

After a lot of researching, posting in the help forum and going through a few mental acceptance/denial cycles about the fact that there is really no way to directly contact Blogger technical support, I finally realized that there is nothing I can do. Nothing. When most people try to access my site through the original address (a.k.a. the only address anyone knows), instead of the promised automatic redirection they get an error page that asks if they want to go to the new address which HAS NOT BEEN CHECKED FOR VIRUSES OR MALWARE (hysteria emphasis mine). Any search engine ranking I might have had has plummeted. Though I have stats turned off for Lent, other bloggers with this problem report that they’ve lost more than 50% of their readers, and that in many cases their feed subscribers have stopped getting new content.

I was recounting this tale of woe to my husband, trying to fully convey the gravity of the situation with dramatic hand gestures and even a creepy, ominous tone in my voice when I said the word “MALWARE, ” and he started laughing. Laughing. [Warning: husbands, do not try this at home.] The following conversation ensued:

ME: I couldn’t help but notice that as I was recounting my tale of blog agony, you broke out in laughter. Would you care to share what you found so funny? [Probably not exactly how I phrased it at the time.]

HIM: You’re talking about the blog Et Tu, right? The one where you’re always writing about trusting God?

ME: Yes. And…?

HIM: Umm, do you think that maybe you should trust God with the technical difficulties that happen on the blog where you write about trusting God?

ME: [Ran off to lock myself in a closet and scream.]

I didn’t actually do that last part, but I thought about it. Instead I just mustered up that special look that I reserve for situations where I have nothing to say because I have been smacked upside the head with a cluebat, when I have been told something that is annoying but true and I can’t even save face by pretending I don’t think it’s true because I wrote a blog post saying I thought it was true. (Sadly, I actually have had enough practice with that situation to have perfected a look in response to it.)

There have been things I struggled with in my conversion from atheism to Catholicism. The universe has a Creator? There is a loving God even with all the suffering we see in the world? God became a man? He died and was resurrected from the dead? The Bible really is the inspired word of God?

The dilemmas I faced when I pondered those questions, however, were mere pebbles in the road compared to this one, a teaching so challenging and difficult that it sends me into spiritual crisis to even ponder it: I really am supposed to strive for a calm trust in God, even with computer problems? Even if said computer problems could accurately be described as “horribly unfair” or “infuriating”? Even if it’s preventing me from writing blog posts about trusting in God?!

Oddly enough, this little Blogger issue has become a sort of crucible for me this Lent. It seemed like it should have been a small matter to let go of my angst about a silly technical problem, and yet I found it harder to trust God with that than with even some of the big medical or financial issues we’ve faced in recent years. But why? That’s what I’ve been pondering all week, and what I’ll go into in Part II of this post.

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