Many of you, depending on your age, may remember the “black screen of death,” or some of you may have suffered this fatal error recently. It’s just a term that defines what happens when a Microsoft Windows based computer suffers an internal error causing the whole system to shut down. Often when this occurs, because the system didn’t shut down properly, the user experiences great emotional pain and intellectual suffering when the computer fails to restart. “According to Wallace McClure of ASP.net, the phrase was originally coined in mid-1991 by Ed Brown, a technician with The Coca-Cola Company‘s IT department in Atlanta, GA. He reports that the company was rolling out Windows 3.0 within the Global Marketing group and when the users would attempt to run WordPerfect, they would randomly receive a black screen.” (click on restart, for more information.)
Missing files, compressing files, or running certain software programs, were all thought to be reasonable starting points for the random, and eerily unpredictable event, which would most often occur at the most inopportune time. Imagine working for hours, then reaching a critical point in a data set, or proposal due by 8:00 a.m. the next morning, and suddenly with a single key-stroke, your computer screen goes black (or blue, depending on the operating system software version), and you’ve lost hours and hours of work. Hence, the other phrase people who work with Microsoft based systems are familiar with today, “Save, and save often.”
One of the most unpredictable aspects of human existence is the timing of an event we also call “death.” Like the computer systems which just go black, at some point along our human journey, our bodies, the human system will also just go black. How morbid, right? How unthinkable, right? The fact remains, human existence on this planet is not guaranteed for anyone, and trying to predict the moment of a terminal/fatal event or action is impossible. Many have tried to answer the questions, “Is that all there is? When it’s over, it’s just over? There isn’t anything else?” The logical answer for those who disavow the existence of God, the salvation of Jesus, the eternal bliss of heaven, or the eternal punishment of hell remains, “yep, that’s all there is. There is no re-boot, or restart.”
For those seekers of truth who remain far from God, but are open to the facts regarding life here, as well as life after death, I offer you great hope. This topic of death not only doesn’t have to be morbid or macabre, but the reality of going black here, for some really does mean stepping into the Light. For those who believe the Bible is the authoritative guidebook for a journey through this life, and the next, see the event of death as the hope of eternal bliss.
While sitting at your computer, it would be great to be able to predict when the screen would turn black, but again that is impossible. Likewise, it would be great to know the point of our human demise, so we could be “ready” when it happened. The only guarantee for your data to remain on your computer, is to save what you are working on regularly. The only way for you to experience a true restart, of life as it was intended to be lived, is to be “saved” by stepping over the line of faith into Jesus.
Like malware hiding and lurking in the corners of your computer, just waiting to create chaos and destruction, and ultimately the black screed of death… sin is hiding and lurking in the corners of your mind and heart, just waiting to wreak havoc and destruction on your soul, and ultimately separate you from God for eternity.
Is there something more? Of course there is! Life with God, as God intended us to live all along.
How do you find it? Restart.
How do you restart? See, that’s the right question! And here is the answer…
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.