Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Imperfect solutions to technical glitches

Our internet was not working this morning.  A dead-end message appeared on every try:  "Your device is not connected."  That was obvious.  The solution was not.

Instantly, I blamed the service provider, dreading the thought of being "on hold," waiting for an internet technician to even pick up the phone. The last time the internet went down, it took two long phone conversations, a wrong diagnosis, and a house call to determine that someone a mile away had snipped the wrong wire. 

Technical glitches are not my strong suit. All of my mechanical DNA went to one of my brothers who, according to family legend, fixed our black and white television when he was three years old.

An engineering brain was not granted to me.  But one thing I have learned from my husband is that when something ceases to operate and the usual solutions do not work, shut the device all the way down and start over from the beginning.  He is so right. Nine times out of ten, all that is needed is a reset.  Back to business.

It is not that anyone is at fault, but there is a reason.

Those technical glitches are not too different from relational ones.  It is not a matter of  "What is wrong with you?" or "What have you done?"  but "How can I handle this differently?  LORD, what is the most gracious way in this?"   Again, not approaching from a mindset of  "fault," or blame, but just knowing there is a reason that probably is not so obvious, that which lies underneath.

When the usual relational remedies don't work, back out and start through again, resuming on a different path, a different heart-set, even a different tone of voice.  Because in resetting the relationship, I see the other person differently and in the process, I see myself as I really am.  Am I being heavy-handed with a "I will win this battle" attitude, or am I more concerned with what is good and right and kind?  What am I modeling?  The role of a tyrant?   Or "Let's see how we can work this out." 

When a system or relationship is not working,
                     ignoring it,
   are not part of the solution.
        and begin again.
      by step.

It just may be
          an opportunity for grace
    in disguise.

And we all,
    with unveiled face,
beholding the glory of the Lord,
are being changed into His likeness
              from one degree of glory to another.

                                  2 Corinthians 3.18

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