In an earlier era, my friends and I drove high-mileage, less-reliable cars that bounced along on “May-Pop” tires.

We didn’t take for granted that our cars would start or get us to every intended destination. We just hoped and prayed and checked the air pressure and fuel levels regularly.

Back then I heard someone say that cars were “both our slaves and masters.” They could take us to wonderful places or leave us stranded on the side of the road. And that was before cell phones could bring easy rescue.

Computer technology has brought us into new slave-master relationships. We boot up each day with the assumption that our computers will function properly, that web sites will appear and that email will function.

When it doesn’t happen as expected … well, patience gets tested.

The Baptists Today web site and, more importantly, our staff emails disappeared last Thursday — and didn’t return for nearly a week — thanks to the lousy customer service from “ValueWeb — a Hostway Company.”

It is amazing how much of our daily work depends on computer technology. And most days our computers are our servants.

On this occasion, however, we are at the mercy of some unknown others (who apparently feel that our use of email and our web presence are not that important).

My frustration is greater than in the olden days when a “previously-owned” car broke down or would not start. For apparently our Internet provider doesn’t know how to drag something over to a shade-tree mechanic who will keep working until the thing he is working on is working again.

With patience gone, I’m searching for a silver lining in this dark cloud that continues to hang around after five days.

Perhaps it the awareness that there are so many things that we take for granted routinely — when we should be expressing gratitude for their presence in our daily lives.

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