“Mom!” my son yelled, “The DVR isn’t working.”
“I know, it hasn’t been working for a few days.” I acknowledged.
“Yeah, but American Idol isn’t on tonight until 10 and we have to record it!” (because it's on past his bedtime.)
Oh, no! It’s the final three results show. “I’ll get right on it!” I assured him.
I’ve known for a week the cable box hasn’t been doing its DVR functions. Most of the shows we watch are pre-recorded, so this is a bit of a problem. But, we’ve already had to replace four DVR boxes and I really didn’t want to have to get a new one, especially because all of our recorded shows would be gone (including the last few episodes of 24!).
Ever since I discovered the problem, I’ve done what I could—which honestly isn’t much. I turned the DVR on and off. When that didn’t work, I hoped a technology miracle would occur during the night restoring the DVR to full-functionality by morning. I’m pretty patient that way.
But now, American Idol was on the line! I did what needed to be done all along—called Comcast. After being led down a maze of “press 1,” “press 2,” “enter your 10-digit phone number,” and “please wait.” Finally a real live human came on the line.
After giving her all my information again (didn’t she already have it from the three times I’d entered it?) the helpful woman set to work diagnosing the problem. “Tell me what’s going on,” she inquired.
I explained as best I could and through the wonders of technology she sent a “signal” from her station to our cable box that was supposed to clear up the problem. We waited (and waited) for the signal to “download.”
“What’s happening now?” she asked.
“It’s still not working,” I replied, doubtful that this sending-out-a-signal thing would actually work. Visions of lost 24 episodes, movies and American Idol finals swirled through my head.
Not showing the least bit of worry, she calmly said, “Sometimes these boxes get messed up. Unplug it for ten seconds. I’m gonna go to my supervisor’s desk to send out another signal because it's stronger from there.”
“OK, great. I’ll wait.”
She came back on the line and after many more minutes of waiting for the sending-out-a-stronger-signal thing to fix the problem, I pressed the fast forward button. “Hey! It worked!” I exclaimed. Within a few minutes the DVR was once again functioning properly.
“I can’t believe it worked. Thank you SO much,” I exclaimed.
“Thank you for your patience,” she replied. “Have a great day.”
Wow! That’s how customer service is supposed to work, I thought.
Sometimes our spiritual life goes on the fritz like my cable box did. We function, but only partly. We lose our sense of peace and joy. Discontentment, anxiety, intellectualism, pride, worthlessness or busyness start to take over. When we push “play” on our spiritual life, nothing happens.
We might do what we can to fix the situation, like pray more or turn to Scripture, or we might even ignore the problem and hope it goes away. Sometimes these actions work.
Other times, we need help to reestablish our connection to the Holy Spirit. Help that comes in the form of a wise counselor, mentor or teacher. Help that comes from someone who's already tapped into the stronger signal.
This week God led me to such a person. The words this woman spoke weren’t ones I hadn’t heard before, but she organized them in a way that sounded new. And she spoke them with the power of the Holy Spirit. My soul “received the signal” and her teaching was like a fresh wind that blew away all the mind junk that's been blocking the Spirit in my life. I left her presence repurposed and restored.
It’s hard to reach out for help, but we should not settle for a partially functioning faith. God promises He will pour out His Spirit on ALL people (that means you!). (Acts 2:17) But, the world is filled with defeated Christians who have failed to receive or lost sight of the amazing grace of God. Don't be one of them.
We’re on this journey together, some are further ahead, some are behind. Where are you? Do you need to seek out a wise teacher to help you re-establish your connection to the Spirit? Has God placed someone in your life whom you can mentor? Pray that the Lord leads you to these people.
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:22)