It all started with bacon.

Sunday night, Bettie and I had BLTs with fresh tomatoes from the garden.  Marvellously delicious!  We’re planning on Sunday evening BLTs for as long as we can keep tomatoes coming in.

Bettie started the bacon cooking, and I finished it.  I was unhappy with our frying pan – it is big enough, but it’s a thin little thing, and the non-stick coating stuck.  So I started thinking about getting the perfect pan for frying bacon.  I don’t necessarily expect to buy it from the store and have it work perfectly the first time I use it.  Cast iron pans take time to season.  Other pans might take some breaking in.  I can live with that.

What I might have trouble with is the single-use-ness of the bacon frying pan.  What if I wanted pancakes – would that be permissible?  (I know I’m making up the rules, but I want to know ahead of time).  A frying pan exclusively for bacon does a single thing.  Some folks won’t buy anything that does only one thing, and there’s some validity to that thought.  Something with multiple uses takes up less space than multiple things that do only a single task.

This line of thinking led directly to operating systems (of course it did – where else could it have gone?).  There are two basic flavors: a Graphical User Interface (like Windows) or a command line interface (like Unix/Linux).  I like command lines – you can string together filters that do exactly what you want.  They’re self-documenting.  And they can be automated.  Those filters each do a single thing, and do it very well.  One example is wc, which counts words.  It will also spit out line counts and letter counts that it picks up as a byproduct of figuring out how many words there are, but it still basically counts words.  And does it very well.

In Windows, the way to count words is to start Microsoft Word, load the file into Word, then select Tools, then Word Count.  The count of words is the second entry in the graphical window, after pages, and before characters (no spaces), characters (with spaces), paragraphs, and lines.  And there’s no way to do anything with the information – you can see it, but you can’t process it any further.

Brrrrr.  Makes my bones shiver.  I want my information available.

This line of thinking led me to thinking about God, and wondering if He fits more into the GUI or the command-line way of thinking.  It’s a hard question.

On the command-line side, God is always accessible, and you can ask for anything you want.  On the GUI side, God’s ways are not our ways.

On the command-line side, God is free.  On the GUI side, there was definitely a price to be paid.

On the command-line side, you will always get an answer from God.  On the GUI side, sometimes you’re shown the answer instead of being provided with it in your outstretched hands.

On the command-line side, God has always been there.  On the GUI side, sometimes God is silent and doesn’t answer directly (although God doesn’t get blue screens of death, or need daily reboots).

I think, when you come right down to it, that God supersedes interfaces and operating systems.  And whether you prefer single-use tools vs. multi-use tools – that’s not a moral question.

And BLTs are a gift from God.