I Want to Be a Third Grader

By: Dennis Bates

Sometimes I wish I were a third grader again.

I think that might be young enough to learn basic computer skills and retain them. If not, make that a first grader. Alas, I think cyberspace has passed me by, and it would have been nice if it would have had the courtesy to wave at the very least.

I just spent the better part of the last hour and a half trying to figure out why the margins on my Word document program wouldn’t cooperate. Yesterday it was manuscript formatting. What ever happened to plain old paper and pencil, anyway? All you need to use those is a full pad and a sharp pencil, and even I can figure out how to sharpen a pencil.

Even as I type this the word count function at the bottom of the page has disappeared. I hate machines and programs that have a mind of their own. I didn’t tell it to disappear. That’s one of the reason I hate power door locks on cars too. I only want the doors to lock and unlock when I tell them to, not when some preprogrammed do-gooder inspired system thinks they should be.

But I digress.

Sorry, I just had to figure out why some ruler function kept popping on and off my screen. Again, I didn’t ask it to. It’s not as if I’ve never done this before. I’ve been using this 20th Century witchcraft known as a computer for some time now. I’ve never really understood it, but I agreed to leave it alone for the most part as long as it did the same for me.

One of us isn’t keeping its end of the bargain, and I am.

A young person wouldn’t be as nonplussed about all of this as I get. That’s why I’d like to go back to the beginning and learn computer stuff from the ground up. I might actually get it that way and save a lot of time I now spend ontrial and error fixes for problems I have.

I can’t help thinking about the Bible verses in Matthew 18 that say unless we change and become like little children, we cannot get into the kingdom of heaven. Does that mean there’s some sort of age limit beyond which we can’t get into heaven? No. It means, as the following verses point out, that without the simplicity and humility of a child, we have a lot more trouble understanding how simple salvation really is. It also means that if children instinctively know how to be humble and trusting. We need to be that way also.

Just as I would learn about computers better if I were young enough to approach them with an open mind, so would I learn more easily about the kindom of heaven if I were spirituallyyoung enough to approach it with an open heart.

We all would.


3 Responses to I Want to Be a Third Grader

  1. cindyinsd says:

    Dennis, you are sooo funny. 😉 I just read this post to my daughter, who is 17, and she laughed and laughed, too. She says she just keeps pushing buttons until something works–that’s her advice to you. My advice? For Dummies! I LOVE those books–well, some of them–sometimes The Idiot’s Guide is better. Hate the names; love the books.

    Once upon a time when my dad gave me his old office computer (monochrome yellow on black monitor, write your own code, etc.), I had to check books out from the children’s section of the library because no way could I understand the computer books in the adult section. 😆 Now they actually write children’s books for adults. Most excellent concept.

    There’s a lot to be said for becoming like little children. I think sometimes that a large part of our problem with learning new things is that we’re building on the wrong foundations. Children haven’t got a foundation, so you can start with bare ground and do it right. Otherwise, there can be a bit of blasting and demolition work that has to go on first. 😦 Not fun. But worth it.

    God was also talking to me about how trusting little children are. I can remember being with my dad on the Gulf of Mexico in storms that should have terrified me, but hey–I was with my dad. What could possibly happen to me? God impressed on me that, while this was an exaggerated trust in a finite man, He does want us to trust Him that way–and He is always able to keep us, no matter what may happen.

    Thanks for magnifying Him. 🙂


  2. Dennis, He’s trying to teach you to be humble with the computer–that you don’t know everything. Granted it’s not an easy task, but…

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