My laptop has been struggling for a while now. Last year I (and by I I mean “I got someone else to”) replaced an important part, and that kept it going for a while. Now it has stopped charging, slowed to a crawl, and goes nuts went I attempt to connect it to the internet. As I plugged in my external hard drive for one last backup, a surprising flood of emotions happened.
My laptop’s name is Logan. Yes, I’m *that* person. My laptop has been my constant companion throughout seminary. I have sweated over papers, planned my life, enjoyed entertainment, and connected with others through this laptop for almost four years now. I wrote my first published essays on it. I started blogging on it. I wrote four NaNo novels on it. I planned my first DnD world on it. This is going to be a transition.
Maybe I have more of an emotional connection to my laptop than most people, but it struck me that we have prayers and litanies for everything in life. We mark transitions and big events through rituals like weddings and baptisms. Ministers bless houses, cows, pets, traveling. Why not recognize a dying laptop as a modern transition?
So like a good 21st Century Presbyterian who believes God is to be included in every part of life, I wrote a litany for a dying computer. It’s written for multiple people, but it could easily be read by just one person by changing the plural pronouns to personal ones and is meant for personal devotion.
Litany for a Dying Computer
One: Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great.
Many: You are clothed with honor and majesty, wrapped in light as with a garment.
One: You stretch out the heavens like a tent. You set the beams of your chambers on the waters.
Many: You make the clouds your chariot. You ride on the wings of the wind.
One: You make the winds your messengers and fire and flame your ministers.
All: Bless the Lord, O my soul. (Psalm 104:1-4)
One: Our souls magnify the Living God, the Creator. Our feet follow Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. Our ears listen for the Small Still Voice, the Spirit. In all things we are called to remember God’s presence in the world and in our lives. Today we thank God for this computer, (insert name if computer has one). As embodied disciples we live in modern times and have many tools at our disposal. We remember the many blessings of our lives that make using computers possible from our finances or generosity of others to our health to electricity. Holy God, we ask if this computer has helped us to harm anyone emotionally or spiritually please forgive us and shine a light onto our path that we may turn away from such actions, seek forgiveness, and embrace all people with love. We give you thanks for the entertainment and relaxation this computer has given us and ask that you continue to strengthen us through your Spirit to live balanced lives. We ask the transition to a new computer be a smooth one and that we continue to live all our lives as the beloved children of God that we are. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Amen.
Optional: End with the Lord’s Prayer or the reading of the rest of Psalm 104