By Doug De Graffenried
The usual routine for writing this article is that I arrive at the office on Monday morning, grab a
cup of coffee, and start writing. This week’s routine was disrupted by the Labor Day holiday. I did enjoy
my Labor Day and decided that a smoker did not violate the Burn Ban and I cooked away! Don’t get me
started on governmental overreach and intrusion into our basic freedoms, because I can wax poetic on
I whipped into the offices on Tuesday morning knowing that my writing routine was a day late.
I grabbed a cup of coffee and that is where the day derailed.
My morning was disrupted by Bill Gates! I’m one of those dinosaurs that uses Microsoft
products. Only the cool people on our church staff have Apple products. They are also the people who
do all the graphics and video production. They are always bragging about their cool computers, iPads,
and such not. I sat down at my desk and noticed my computer was off. I never turn my computer off. Bill
Gates and Microsoft had turned my computer off. It was in the middle of one of the infamous Microsoft
updates and had not turned back on.
I hit the power button. If you have endured one of those updates recently, you know that I sat
gazing at a screen with the, “please be patient” message. I was. The computer cooperated and all was
well. Until I tried opening Microsoft Word. The update had fouled up all of my functioning Microsoft
product. I could not open Word. I could not open the mail program. I could not open another product
the church uses for internal communication. My computer was fully functional, but the programs I
needed to write this article and send this article out were not functioning.
My workday was in a state of disruption.
Those of us who are set in our ways don’t like disruption. Our habits give order and symmetry to
our life. I was upset with Bill Gates and the Microsoft software update disruption of my writing schedule.
I have an antidote for dealing with disruption. What if, rather than all our usual ways of grousing
about disruption, we practiced improvisation. When life comes at us with something that causes us to
get off our beaten path, can we “make it up” as we are going along? Then a disruption becomes a
blessing and opportunity to learn and do something different.
If we are anchored to Christ, let the winds blow and let the disruptions come. We have an
anchor that holds. Now we can move where the winds of the spirit move us. That is called improvisation,
or some call it faith.