Everyday is an opportunity
Yesterday, I lost an hour an hour of my life that I can never get back. You probably have been in my shoes. The frustration of life in a first world country.
It’s kind of a long story, but I have to share it. Otherwise, you may not see the full picture and realize what a jerk I can be. We are all sinful creatures. Right?
Well, almost two years ago (see I told you this would be long), Michael and I moved our cell phones to a new carrier. We decided to set up a business account so that we could take advantage of counting this as a business expense. Since we are a very small business and only needed three lines, they talked us into ‘a better deal’. We ended up taking on a line for the truck, a line for a desk top phone, another mysterious line and the three cell phone lines we did actually need.
At the time, we were planning a move and decided to hold off on setting up the desktop phone until after we were had made that transition. Well, the move took longer than expected and then we basically forgot about the phone. Over this past weekend, we finally realized that it might actually be helpful to have that line working. Yeah, almost two years of paying for the line for no real reason.
I located the box and pulled out all of the parts. It basically had to be put together. It seemed simple. Power line, connected. Internet line, connected. Receiver cord, connected. And…..”invalid account/no internet connection”.
Let’s try that again. Disconnect everything and reconnect in a different order. Nothing.
So, I go to the company’s website. Super, there’s a video! I watch it and it’s no help. I’ve already done everything like the woman in the video. It’s still not connecting.
Ugh! I hate this, but I’m going to have to call tech support. Does anyone else dread this like I do? It’s like going to the dentist for me. Technology has always caused anxiety for me. I’m the wife that has to get her husband to ‘fix’ her email. I mean, seriously! It used to be really bad.
However, in recent months, I’ve turned over a new leaf and put my big girl pants on. I have begun to tackle technology. I even created this website WITHOUT any help from Michael Stephens. Are you proud of me, Babe? Okay, I digress.
So, I make this phone call and get put through the wringer. I have to prove that I am a legit account admin and I can make decisions and all that. Then we finally get to the reason for my call. I attempt to explain that I have this phone that we have had for nearly two years and I am just now setting it up. The guy, who is clearly not here in Alabama, is struggling to understand my English. He definitely cannot understand while I am just now connecting a phone I have had for two years. Silly American?! However, we work together to try everything written out for him on his troubleshooting cards.
Nothing is working. I move the phone to connect it directly to the router and no success. We go through the steps of resetting the factory settings. Still no connection.
The tipping point
Then the kicker comes when he tells me I need to call and reset my password. He gives me a phone number to call and tells me to go ahead and call from the phone and he will wait for me.
I pause. Squint my eyes and shake my head.
“Wait. You want me to call while you wait?!?” “Yes”
“But I only have the cell phone I am calling you from. The phone I am calling about is not connected.”
“That’s okay. I will wait for you.”
I’m really about to lose it now. I take a deep breathe and say, “You realize that if I call this number right now, I have to hang up on you. Right?” I don’t think that part was spelled out on his prompt cards.
He finally does realize that his suggestion made no sense and went on to suggest that my problem was that I needed to use a WIFI connection to connect the phone. You know, since the direct connection wouldn’t work. (You hear my sarcasm, right?)
Clearly, this is not what I wanted to hear and he had nothing else for me. Instead of simply letting me go, he attempted to ask if he had been helpful. I’m sure it was on his prompt cards. Yes, you guessed it. I wanted to scream.
That little voice in my head/heart
It was at this moment that my spirit spoke up and reminded me that this guy in some foreign country was not at fault here. As much as I wanted to place blame on someone else – the cell phone provider, the phone manufacturer, the outsourcing of tech support… This moment was all on me.
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:17,18
This was a moment for me to slow down and breathe. I did. Then God gave me the grace to say, “I realize that none of this is your fault. You are doing your job the best way you know how to. You can’t control how this phone works or how this system works. I appreciate your efforts to help me. Thank you.”
No amount of sassiness would make that phone work. However, I had an opportunity to be human and to appreciate the efforts of a person living in a foreign country and most likely with far less than I have. He didn’t create the system of outsourcing labor to another country to take advantage of their cheap labor. He also didn’t create the problem I have of purchasing a phone that stayed in a box for two years because I was too busy to set it up.
My frustration is the result of living too fast to take care of the things that need to be taken care of. The most important of which is my own heart and my witness to others.
So, I was left with the challenge to apply that passage from James to my heart. I am an American and I live a life that is still too rushed. I am working to slow my roll and see God’s hand at work around me, but I still get caught up in the ugliness of a ‘me first’ culture.
Instead, my desire truly needs to be wisdom that is from above, that is pure and peaceable and gentle. Wisdom that is reasonable and produces good fruit. Man! I have a long way to go, but I’m trying to make a change.
Really, I am.
Help me, Lord, to apply Your Word to my heart and my life. Help to understand and realize daily that my words and even my thoughts, are a witness of what is happening inside me.
Help me become a person who sows and makes peace.
The day after
UPDATE! After a really good quiet time and some time spent outdoors (which makes my heart smile)…I went back for one last try. I moved the internet connection cord AND it’s now working! Of course, I had to call Michael to share my news.
But I got his voicemail. Oh well…I’m still celebrating alone (and with you) 🙂