A Laugh At My Expense

Woman in home office with computer using telephone frowning


By Deb DeArmond

The grin on his face said it all. He was re-living a victory from earlier this morning.

“Don’t say a word,” I warned.

“It’s my magical power, you know.” He began to chuckle. Then guffaw.

I nearly spit coffee right into his face as I got caught up in a stream of laughter. It was funny. Now.

I spend a lot of time on my computer. Hours daily. Between writing books and my real job designing corporate training, Mac and I are joined at the hip, which, believe me, makes it tough to reach the keyboard from that position. But I digress.

You’d think that someone like me might have become tech savvy over the years. Nay, nay. I often find myself staring at the screen asking what just happened or what does that mean? Rich text, imap, and file extension, are among the terms that leave me in utter darkness. I office at home, and as a result, my husband has had a second job for years. He’s my tech guy. The pay stinks, but there are some decent benefits.

I keep believing that one of these days, I’m going to be successful at managing the electronica when a problem occurs. There is no evidence this is a realistic belief, but nonetheless, I pursue it and attempt to fix it myself. It’s become a pride issue, I’m sure. And it’s as yet, an unfulfilled dream.

“Haven’t I shown you how to do this before?” Ron often asks.

“Probably, but I’ve slept since then. I’m on a deadline, so can you just fix it, please?”

Printer issues, programs that won’t open, messages that read, “Word has encountered a problem and needs to close,” drive me crazy. I especially dislike that last one. I have a problem and you need to stay open! But no! It’s all about you!

Yesterday, Ron tried to talk me through adding a new printer to my computer so I could access it wirelessly.

“It’s easy,” he promised. Sounded good.

Did I mention we were trying to do this on the phone? Each time he told me to perform a function, I did just as he directed.

“It should now give you a choice. Pick the Canon printer and hit save.” He sounded so confident.

“It’s not giving me a choice. I can see it listed, but it won’t let me save.”

“Yes, it will. Hit save,” he responded.

“No. The save button is not illuminated. I’m hitting it. Nothing happens.”

I was beginning to get frustrated. After all, I was the one sitting there looking at it. I began pressing keys, moving to another window where I was sure I’d find the answer. Then another.

Now Ron, too, was aggravated. He was becoming frustrated with my impatience and my insistence in trying to move ahead on my own. It didn’t end well. And I still couldn’t print.

I apologized when he arrived home, explaining my deadline wasn’t forgiving. He was— forgiving, that is—and let me off the hook. Work was done for the day.

So this morning as I sat at my desk, I asked him to please come in and help me set up the printer. He came in and stood next to my desk, telling me which windows to open for the process.

As he stood behind me, I did exactly what I had done the day before. Exactly. And now, the save button was illuminated, screaming, “Pick me! Pick me!”

He smiled. Caught my eye and snorted as he tried to suppress a giggle. He went back to whatever he was doing before I asked for his help.

It’s a pattern at our house.

The running joke is that all he needs to do is darken the doorway of my office and the problem instantly resolves. He doesn’t even have to touch the computer. On occasion, he may set one foot in the door and voila! All is well. It’s as though, sensing his presence, the computer cowers before him. If we could just put that in an aerosol can and sell it, we’d be in the money.

So now, sitting across from me over coffee an hour later, he laughed, enjoying the moment. Again. And I chose to enjoy it with him. As frustrating as it may be, it was funny. It reminded me, again, how much I need him.

Isn’t that just how God deals with us? Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take, (NLT).

We struggle and fight with a problem, running on ahead of His instruction, when it would be so much easier to acknowledge our need for Him and ask for His help. In fact, sometimes just His appearance in the doorway, a step into the room, and peace floods over us. Stress dissolves, the solution becomes visible, and we are confidently back on track.

And, I’m pretty sure, God might chuckle at His children as we run from pillar to post, but I am certain he does not guffaw.

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