Of Mice and Men

Without complexity, the Antichrist system cannot rise and take over, but it is also that complexity that makes this rising system vulnerable. That lesson was brought home to me this week, when my computer – through my own ‘best laid plans’ – did not act as intended.

I thank God that My computer is now acting as intended. God wins through simplicity. Satan can only win through complexity.

It truly is a gift to be simple.


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Of Mice and Men

I’m a computer geek. I’ve been involved with computers for almost 35 years. I am fascinated by all that goes into making them, programming them, using them and even breaking them. And, when I struggle with them – as I did this week – I know that there is a whole army of scientists, engineers, businessmen and programmers on the other side of that struggle.

And yes, the word ‘army’ is very apt.

Think through what it takes for even the most basic computer to be built. It started with the scientists that discovered the properties of silicon, iron, copper and carbon. Other scientists developed the logic of cybernetics – and yes, cybernetics was developed BEFORE computers. As energy became available, engineers began putting the science into practice.

Then, the military needed to calculate range tables more quickly, for artillery. They didn’t have the years it took to make all those calculations. There was a war on, and those tables needed to be completed post-haste. The computer was developed and the tables were completed.

(By the way, I am over-simplifying things.)

Engineers enjoy fiddling with stuff, and they started ‘fiddling’ with computers. The phone that you hold in your hand is a result of lots and lots of ‘fiddling’.

One of these days, I might take the time to analyze just how much of our economy is devoted to the development and production of computers. It’s a lot.

The number of man-hours necessary to create the operating systems and the computers that run them… is utterly fantastic. And, having worked in the computer industry for part of my professional writing career… I also know that fixing mistakes is a big part of all that. The fact that ANY of this works is amazing.

Of course, I was not thinking about how amazing computers are, as I was wrestling with my own, this week. I also like to tinker and fiddle with things, and I did a bit of that this week – with rather disastrous results. It’s not the first time that I’ve caused my computer to fail, and it won’t be my last.

Consider me a veteran of such things.

They have a saying in carpentry:

Measure twice.

Cut once.

I did. And, it didn’t work. At least… not the first time. Or the second. Or the next five, six or seven times. But, it works now. (Praise God!)

This brings to mind an important bit of understanding as we look at what is happening around us. Our world – out of necessity – has become amazingly complex. There are so many ‘single-purpose’ pieces in our system, and they must function efficiently if our system is to survive. Our system has been forced to create specialists. In fact, people are so specialized that they know nothing outside of their ‘specialty’.

What an amazingly complex society. And, it will be that complexity that will destroy it. There are too many pieces that cannot function outside of their specialist function. There are too many inadequate managers that are managing these specialists. And, there are too many self-interested members of this society that are looking out for their own needs, and not the needs of the system.

Unfortunately for Satan, his plans cannot succeed without fantastic complexity and fantastic specialization. Yet, evil is chaotic and destructive to complexity and specialization. When the parts of the system work against the system, the system falls.

That is what is happening right now.

In fact, it NEEDS to happen on a regular basis. The phoenix always needs to consume itself in fire, so that a new phoenix can rise from the ashes.

God’s system doesn’t work this way. In fact, there really isn’t much of ‘system’. Yes, there is a church, and there is a kind of system inside that church. But, that’s about it. In fact, we only get into trouble when we add more ‘system’ to God’s system.

God deals with us individually. We are individual members of the Body of Christ. Of course, there is a ‘body’ and that body has system that keeps it healthy. But, one failure in one part of the body does not threaten the whole. There is always someone, somewhere, ready to pick up the pieces of our failures and move the purposes of God forward.

One day, I will fail.

(I’m using that in the most technical sense.)

I might die. I might be taken off of the Internet. God might move me on to somewhere else. I might be incapacitated. Who knows, I might even lose my mind and babble on about green aliens and ham.

The point is that I am not a necessary part of God’s work. I pray that I will always be useful, but I also pray that there will be others who will come along and be ready to pick up, where I leave off.

That is the way of God.

No piece is vital, but all are useful. Each piece is loved and appreciated, but when our time of service is over, we gladly go to be with the Lord.

After having wrestled with complexity all week, I now more fully embrace the gift of simplicity.

My hope for you, is that you will do the same.

Why The Title?

Now, why do I title this ‘Of Mice and Men’?

Well, we tend to make plans, and then see those plans – even though we prepared so well – fail. And the one who wrote eloquently of that is Robert Burns. He was a Scot and died when he was just 37, but his writing lives on.

Here’s the stanza that we most often think of:

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!


But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

 – from To a Mouse

Read the whole thing, here:


I know a different translation, and this is the phrase that I remember:

The best-laid plans of mice and men / Go oft awry

That was me this week.

How about you?


No research this week.

You get the weekend off.

Lord willing, we’ll be back to

our regular schedule next week.



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I truly hope that you’ll be ready for this
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A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.Proverbs 22:3


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