Patience is Easier Said than Done
I wrote the first draft of this post on my old XP-equipped laptop, the one that illustrates the wisdom of keeping a Stone Age alternative around when Modern Technology goes south.
In this case, my problems revolved around Internet connection problems that proved so maddening I had to laugh to keep from going crazy.
After backing up current files on Dropbox took half the evening and required shutting down my modem to re-establish our online connection, the problem was still there the next morning.
That meant trying to complete online banking transactions took longer than it would have to walk to our nearby bank office and fill out old-fashioned paperwork. Email processing that I could have normally finished in 30 minutes stretched into a three-hour task, interspersed with things like writing this blog.
Early in this maddening mix-up, I called our Internet service provider to see if they were doing some work on their lines in our area that was causing problems. A service technician assured me that wasn’t the case.
Then he proceeded to have me try various tests, none of which worked. He put me on hold a couple times to confer with his supervisor, saying he was trying to schedule a visit from tech support to check our problem.
At the end of a 25-minute call came an “oops.” Turns out they were doing work on the lines. Hopefully it would be fixed by the end of the day (which it wasn’t. That took another week).
Twiddling Your Thumbs
Because I had to process and respond to several messages waiting in my queue, I forged ahead into the email wars. With the first few, I opened up spider solitaire and played a couple games as I waited.
After the slowdown continued, I decided it was time to open up the book file I was editing and get to work. Trouble is, I couldn’t. I had recently upgraded from Office 2010 to the latest and greatest, meaning a leap past Word 2013 to the 2016 version.
While in theory this doesn’t happen, it malfunctioned. I tried three times to work it, only to have it constantly freeze up.
This despite assurance from a couple cyberspace-savvy friends that once I downloaded the latest package, it would be stored on my hard drive. It supposedly wouldn’t matter if I wasn’t hooked up to the Internet. Although they were correct, after the third failed attempt, I thought, “I beg to differ.”
The Challenge of Life
This all brought to mind a recent discussion at our men’s group about patience. During the conversation, I talked about how the famous 1 Corinthians 13 “love chapter” sounds great, until you have to be patient and forbearing.
Another man noted that, after 41 years of marriage, whenever a pastor trots out one of the familiar phrases—i.e., “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (vs. 6-8)—he simply rolls his eyes.
Anyone who has been married awhile can relate. The gooey-eyed days of wedding-day bliss quickly meet up with reality. Sticking with the same spouse for very long is much tougher than either person imagined at the altar.
So it is with patience in other areas of life. It’s easy to talk about being patient and quite another when Forces Beyond Your Control throw a monkey wrench in your daily plans.
What I discovered this aggravating day was is it’s better to smile than wreck my sanity over something I can’t change. Better known as the 21st century version of the Serenity Prayer.