Ever since we were young, we were taught that God is omniscient; God knows everything. But I didn't see many Information Technology professionals seeking God's help when trying to resolve a computer programming problem.
On April 24, 1992, I had a personal experience that showed me God had enough computer programming knowledge to help me debug a defect.
I was so struck that God (or perhaps the Holy Spirit... He didn't identify Himself) would stoop to help a kid do his work, and frankly that He would care about knowing a programming language, that I excitedly wrote about it that very day in my personal journal. A photocopy of the exact hand-written text of my journal entry from that day is attached after this story. Because it was written only for myself, there are several technical terms that I'll leave out or explain as I retell a brief version of the story here.
Thinking about it now, 25 years later, I am not surprised in the least that God knows everything, and that He is willing to help us lead our every day lives, even to the point of guiding us in simple decisions. After all, John 14:26 quotes Jesus as telling us: "the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."
Now that I am older, I still sometimes ask the Holy Spirit for day-to-day guidance in my job at Ford Motor Company. These days, the help I request is how to approach difficult or novel interpersonal situations with other co-workers. When I ask Him, and when He responds, and when I obey, then things go well.
The way I 'hear' his voice is more subtle than direct words. It's kind of like a clear thought attached to a feeling of His presence, or the feeling that it came from somewhere other than your own ideas. Like a nudge or a smile from a long time friend; but because you've gotten to know him, you know what He means. For example, if I'm in a meeting, I can understand when He wants to tell me "You don't need to say what you are thinking; someone else will say it" or "It's Katie's turn to talk. Wait." or "Go ahead." or "Commend their main point before criticizing."
OK, here's the story from 1992:
I was working at the Unisys Corporation as a software developer. I was working on a program on a deadline, and the program was doing something wrong. It had a bug. I had put some time into analyzing the cause, and had some possible causes identified, but none seemed to be the real problem so far. It was 4:15pm on a Friday, so people were about to leave for the weekend, if they hadn't already. One woman who I knew could help was Tina Gondoly, a support expert in the language Linc. I didn't know whether she was still in the office, but started considering calling her. If I was going to call her, I had better do it soon.
Just then, a little voice said, "The answer is right in front of you." My eyes were directed to look at a specific line of code. It was one of the lines I had earlier marked with a pencil earlier as an option, but at the time I marked it, I didn't think that could help. I brushed it off, thinking, "That's just me thinking wishfully." But the voice came back again and said, "Do that and you'll be fine." So I considered it logically, but it didn't make any sense. The more I thought about it, the less sense it made. But I told myself to trust the voice. Exercise complete faith in God. Then I told myself it doesn't make sense and I'd be losing time on this whimsy. I'd better call Tina right now, I thought.
"Trust me" said the voice.
So I paused and said, "OK". It seemed completely illogical and foolish to do so, and if it didn't work, I would have lost my shot at calling Tina, since a fix and recompile and retest would take 20 minutes. But I told myself to trust God. I remembered how faith in Him was the true curative for the blind beggar (Mark 10:46) and the woman with the hemorrhage (Luke 8:43) and the Centurion's servant (Matt 8:5). Let me tell you, this was a hard thing to do. I felt foolish the whole time, but I did it. While waiting for the recompile to run, I struggled with how foolish I felt, but still decided to wait it out and do it as God said, (assuming that was God or the Holy Spirit I had 'heard' in my mind).
After the recompile finished, I set up a new document, reinitialized the Import status flag, and started a new import. Then I printed the results. I couldn't believe my eyes! Problem solved! Wow! Maybe that WAS the Holy Spirit! He said to trust Him, and it worked out!
I stared at the wooden plaque hanging on my cubical wall. Someone had given it to me recently, and it had a Bible verse on it.
"In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths." I smiled then silently laughed until my eyes watered. He is so Good!
Royal Oak, Michigan
- Year Occurred 1992
- Location United States