Summary: We serve a God who loves us, why do we have such a hard time asking for help? Consider these thoughts from our Family Minister Scott Jewell.
I have to begin this morning with a confession. When it comes to matters of technology, I’m a stereotypical male. I’ll figure it out, just leave me alone, don’t hand me the instruction book, I’ve got this. It shows up as I’m driving somewhere using the GPS. It used to really bug me when Terri would point out that my turn was coming up. When she stopped, I realized I actually needed her to point out the turn because I get to talking with people in the car and realize I’m at my turn as I’m going by. So now I ask her to point it out, and even if I knew it was coming, I bite my tongue because I know what will happen if I shut her down- we take some rather interesting scenic routes.
It shows up when I’m troubleshooting technology. You may have heard Jeff and I joke about how I scare the computers into working because he’ll call me over to figure out what went wrong and half the time it corrects itself by the time I sit down to look. But the problem that I’m working on is that I tend to get into a focused on the problem zone and don’t think about the tone I’m using if someone asks a question or makes a suggestion as I’m troubleshooting. (My family is over there nodding their heads vigorously.)
It’s kind of like praying for patience. You know, God answers by throwing you into situations that try your patience so that you develop patience. God really put me to the test last Sunday. It’s been a couple weeks since the audio has worked right for our Facebook livestream. I spent several hours trying various settings to prepare for Sunday’s service to no avail. I decided that I’d record the audio on my phone and add it to the video later, providing the video for people who couldn’t attend later in the day.
The time came for the countdown video to begin when I realized the person I expected to be in the booth wasn’t there. No problem, I’ll step into the booth quick and press the button to start the video and stay there until they return. Then someone else came to the booth to let me know another computer was giving error messages and they were trying to get something they needed for junior church, they needed me to come look at it. It was time for the service to begin, so I let them know I’d be there as soon as I could, was just waiting for the other person to get back to the booth.
Meanwhile, the folks on stage were looking at me wondering why the scripture verses weren’t displaying yet, so I began clicking slides for the service to begin. As we got to the first song and the sound booth person returned, I realized my phone was still in my hand and I hadn’t pressed record yet. We switched spots and I rushed to the front of the sanctuary to place my phone for recording, then headed to the office to help with the computer error there. Bouncing between three different computers made it clear that the website server with the resource we needed had crashed on their end and there was nothing I could do to solve the problem, the lesson plan would have to be adjusted.
The struggle continued when I got home. I sat down, expecting to watch the second half of the Packers game to discover that our WiFi wasn’t working. No problem, I’ll turn the router off and on, reset the system, and enjoy the game. Nope! Didn’t work, tried it a few times, then resolved myself to calling customer service. They answered right away and directed me to a live person rather than taking several steps with an automated system, to my relief. The tech was quite friendly, but I knew he was about to walk me through everything I had already done before making the phone call. But I knew I had to complete the process if I wanted the help. Sure enough, we turned things off and on, checked for a signal on other devices, looked to see that other WiFi signals were listed, and then he asked me to take a paper clip and press the reset button through the pin hole. I thought, oh, here’s something I haven’t tried yet, maybe he’s solved the problem. I get a paper clip, press the button, and wait five seconds. Nothing at all happens. It doesn’t even glitch, no reset, no reaction to the button being pressed. He has me try it again and again before finally saying, “I’ve never had this happen before, let me put you on hold so I can figure out our next steps.”