Any Given Friday (appendix i)

A week after Any Given Friday and life has returned to normality. I was hit by a cold on Wednesday after a massage told my body it could relax and put down its defences! This led to me taking two days off college rather than the one planned.

On Thursday, still suffering from the cold I’d acquired, I sat down at my computer to start the process of re-acquainting myself with essay writing. For the week or two prior to Any Given Friday I had had to put aside college work in order to focus and dedicate enough time to the event. The schedule, post-Any Given Friday, was tight but do-able. I was half through an essay on Billy graham and alpha and so had planned to finish the essay on Thursday to dedicate two weeks to the two essays needing to be done.

I had written 1000 words of this essay (50%) but after reading it there was some re-writing to do and so stripped it all back and started again. I worked from 10am – 5.30pm (with a break for lunch) when all at once the computer froze. None of the USB ports were responding…

Well, I say none of the USB ports were responding two of them (one with a printer attached, the other with a wireless adapter connected) seemed to still be active but the keyboard, mouse and, as far as I’m aware the USB memory stick and external hard drive were not. I replaced the printer with the keyboard, the wireless adapter with the mouse, swapped them over again…


Luckily I had saved as I went along and it was only 30 mins since my last save, not to mention the Auto Save function. I switched the computer off at the mains, waited the dogmatic ten seconds and switched it back on (I’ve watched the IT Crowd!) All loaded up, there was an error check on all my drives and I opened up Word. It had Auto Saved! When I tried to open it, however, it couldn’t be ‘converted’. I closed it down and opened up the file from my memory stick… it was corrupted! Every other file was absolutely fine, this one was corrupted. 1400 words and a days work gone.

I tried to open the file on both the laptops we have in our house…nothing.

I shouted, I swore (I confess!) and gritted my teeth until they hurt and then I prayed. I’m not sure what to pray in these situations. I prayed that God would work a miracle knowing full well that if God wanted me to keep the work He wouldn’t have done such a cruel trick!

After some time to relax and sit in the presence of the Lord of all things, I started to type the essay…again! None of the words that I had written seemed to be in my head anymore, I was full of cold and I was tired after writing this essay all day. I could only remember the quotes I had used so I went through wrote them down and referenced them and stared at the screen for a good fifteen minutes.

I reflected…

Tuesday had gone well. I had seen God move amongst His people and touch many. It was worthwhile and I believe planted many seeds and watered many more. It was, to put it one way, Kingdom building. My wife and I had prayed after the event that God would protect us both as we know that when you put your head above the parapet and step into the spiritual battle you’re going to get hit. We prayed on Tuesday night and then on Wednesday (my day off) I prayed for others but not for protection. On Thursday I prayed for help with my essay but I had already been hit by a cold and didn’t take note of what was happening. The cold was the first signs of exhaustion and when you’re tired you take your eyes off the ball.

The loss of essay has put me back on my schedule, has added to my stress and work load; it would be easy for me to stop my discipleship and just put my head down and work on the essays (some would say I should) but I haven’t. God is good and I will not be defeated because the Lord is with me. I will not sacrifice important time of rest and recuperation to work myself into the ground for an essay.

Usually, I would have been kicking myself and pull an all-nighter, work flat out and run around like a head-less chicken but instead God showed me that life is more than essays. Life is being present for those around you, to receive the peace God gives us and to dwell with Him. I was hit after an important event. When it is finished pray for protection until it settles down.

A week after Any Given Friday and life has returned to normality and there is still work to do. Not academic (although that needs to be done) but Kingdom building discipleship work.

‘Once more unto the breach dear friends, once more!’