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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Looking for answers in all the wrong places

Friday, December 3, 2010

It was the Luke Bryan weekend, and our house was filled with family and friends. When our guests mentioned the television in their room wasn't working, I went upstairs to check the remote, forgetting that Andy's friend had taken it to California.

Don't ask.

I turned to the DISH Network support staff who had, on more than one occasion, talked me through various problems. The last conversation, lasting an hour, had been with the advanced support person who, about every fifth sentence, told me he enjoyed serving me. We both laughed when I told him that if this was his idea of an enjoyable time, he needed a new social life. I knew he had to be frustrated with my ineptness, but he kept pretending otherwise. Then it dawned on me -- I was one of those recorded conversations the techies sit around at breaks and play back for a good laugh ... "You won't believe THIS one, Charlie."

My support person this time was a woman.

"Mrs. LaRoche, which receiver is this television hooked up to?"

"How would I know that?"

"Go to your main television set and turn it on....."

After a series of trips between floors, I was told: "Mrs. LaRoche, please take the remote control for your upstairs television and..." How could I begin to explain Andy's friend? "It's missing," I said.

"No problem, Mrs. LaRoche. Just go the DISH second receiver and we'll start again." I continued to the basement, now frustrated, and sat down in front of the television. Something was wrong.

"Oh my goodness," I blurted. "This isn't my television set. We had a small one and this is much larger and it's not mine and I have no idea how it got here but my sons are home for the weekend and they sometimes forget to tell me about a lot of things they do and this is obviously one of those times. Could this be the problem?"

"Mrs. LaRoche, I'm going to turn you over to advanced tech support so they can help you with these connections. I have enjoyed serving you, Mrs. LaRoche."

I'm sure you have, I thought. I imagine I've just given you an entire 45 minutes of lunch room entertainment.

This time, however, even the expert couldn't help. I shouldn't be surprised. I seem to waste a lot of my life (including my spiritual one) looking for answers in all the wrong places. Depending on the situation, answers -- right ones, at least -- can be hard to find. My DISH support folks might actually enjoy serving me (even if it is just for kicks), but when we really need an answer, we are not truly served unless we find it. That is especially true when it comes to matters of ultimate concern.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says this: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."

We all have available to us a hotline to the One who has all the answers, yet most of us don't turn to Him first. Instead of going to our knees, we phone our empathetic friend or complain to our coworker or try to figure things out on our own. We stew and fret and, in so doing, we dismiss the ultimate expert. That may not be such a big deal if the only consequence is missing out on some of our favorite TV shows, but if life and death is in the balance, there is no bigger deal.

Patty LaRoche
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