defragTechnicians recommend running a “defrag” periodically to clean up a computer. The process compresses old files and reorganizes them so the computer can function faster and more efficiently. Although it could seem like taking the time to defrag is just one more thing to do, it’s really something that speeds up the overall process and makes the computer run better.

Several years back I was preparing a sermon to give at my church. I’d been thinking about my topic and praying about it for quite a while and now it was time to sit down to record and organize my thoughts. But the computer seemed to be running really slowly, dragging and taking a long time for each letter to appear. I was horrified, because this was Friday and I was supposed to preach Saturday night. I ended up having to reformat my whole computer, then reload all the software back on. It took hours. I remember thinking, “Oh Lord, why on earth would you let this happen at this particular time?”

The Lord doesn’t always answer my questions—at least not directly. But this time he did. You see, I was preparing to speak on priorities. And it came to me:  the computer malfunction was an illustration of how our lives are. God had let me live through how we go through the process of unloading, setting our priorities, then reloading what comes back in.

That’s how life is sometimes. We’re carrying around all this extra stuff that’s slowing us down, and we need to take time to unload it all and then reload only what’s really necessary and important. Only then are we freed up enough to move forward.