I turned and saw not far from my feet, on the cold, hard cement, my beautiful, white, brand new MacBook, lying there after it had fallen out of my bag and crashed onto the floor. My heart became constricted, and the blood rushed out of my arms as I processed the significance of the crash I heard a moment ago in conjunction with what I was currently seeing. “SH*T!” said my inner voice, which quickly took control of my vocal cords, to loudly disturb the air about me. “SHH***TT!!!!” my voice echoed off my neighbor’s garage door and resounded back upon the spot where my beautiful, beautiful Mac had landed. I rushed over to assess the damage and I noticed on the bottom four corners some scratches, which felt like tears in the fabric of the universe. “Oh God!!!!” every recess and crevice of my soul cried out, “Why me? Why this? Whhyyy???!!”
As I stood replaying the previous events that led to the fateful crash, I began to wonder if I had liked my Mac just a little too much, if I had crossed the line into idolatry, if divine retribution had befallen me leaving no sympathy in heaven for my pain. From somewhere in my mind came the retort, “Of course there is no sympathy, you selfish jerk! People are starving, people are being oppressed and tortured, and you stand here with your ‘wahhhhh my Mac has a few little scratches’ like it matters. You selfish, materialistic, fastidious, petty, little jerk!” I realized that on the scale of tragedy, my scratched Mac, which still worked, hardly weighed an ounce, but it stabbed at the core of my being. I stood there, wanting to let go, to transcend my pettiness, to find it within myself to thank God inspite of the circumstances, but all I could do was taste the bitter disappointment on the sides of my tongue, as it slowly slid down the back of my throat to poison my soul.
As the pain mildly abated a few days later a thought came to me that perhaps my laptop tragedy, as petty as it may be, actually did matter to God. Of course I realized the absurdity that God would care about such a small matter, but it struck me that it mattered to him because he is good, and out of his goodness he is interested in those things that matter to me. This is not to say that I think that God is going to do anything about my laptop, but rather that I somehow found a sense of peace that he was aware of my small tragedy, that he wasn’t criticizing me for my pettiness, and that somehow it mattered to him.