Serenity Now!

February 2, 2009

Ever have a week where nothing seems to work?

This week has been one of those. First, my immune system has not been working. Thus, I have a cold that keeps hanging on, long past its welcome.

I fought all week with my printer. It won’t print.

A couple of days ago, I booted up my computer. Everything was fine, save for the fact that it had NOTHING on the desktop. No icons, no start bar. Nothing. It has a demon. Thus, I’m coming at you from a backup computer.

Yesterday, we had just one unseasonably warm day – a balmy 65 degrees amidst a month of sub 30 degree days. Seemed like a good day to take the scooter out for a spin. Except it won’t start. In the process of attempting to recharge and reconnect the battery, I blow a fuse. I go to the hardware store for a replacement. There are two doors to enter the hardware store. Guess which door I instinctively pick? The one that’s locked.

Why do businesses always keep one door locked? Is it to make me look stupid? I look stupid enough walking into a hardware store! I know next to nothing about hardware. So everyone’s looking at me as I fail to operate a door, of all things, and they know I don’t belong here. So the old man who runs the store and knows everything about hardware comes up to me and asks, ‘Can I help you, son?’ I think he expected me to ask for directions to Baskin Robbins. ‘Yeah, I don’t even know what I’m doing here. I just want an ice cream cone.’

Thus concludes my week of stuff not working. I looked around me, cursed the inanimate objects who have conspired to bring me down. They have all broken their solemns vows to improve and ease my life. And for all I know, this is only the first line of attack from the army of rebellious inanimate objects which inhabit my home.

So I’m waiting for my car to blow up, or my roof to fall in or the moon to crash into me, because it’s quite clear that if Jesus is supposed to be a good luck charm and make my life easier, he is not doing his job. Quite the opposite.

I’ll admit, I’m not at my best when my stuff conspires against me. I’m pretty sour when that happens. While driving home from the hardware store, the slightest inconvenience in traffic really set me off.

Now, I know there are Christians who have mastered this. They can chuckle to themselves when stuff doesn’t work. They’re the types who announce at the dinner table what their ‘blessing of the day’ was. I’m just not there yet. And in the midst of my stuff not working, I’m not sure how I feel about such holy Christians!

When I was a kid, we read a book entitled Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The title says it all. Alexander has a way worse day than I had all week. Everything goes wrong. There’s no prize in his cereal box. His mom forgets to pack dessert in his lunch. The shoe store has the wrong shoes for him. Alexander keeps repeating to himself that one day he’s going to escape his problems by moving to Australia.

Can anyone vouch for Australia as a problem-free utopia for frustration-riddled Americans? None of the travel brochures seem to indicate that. I’m hoping my experiences with Outback Steakhouse are not indicitive of Australia, except for the cheese fries. Those are amazing.

Now, I know this sounds like an angry rant, but it really isn’t. I sat in church this Sunday and prayed and sang, and everything felt better, even though no problems have been solved yet. So I’m really okay…really.

How do you react when everything seems to break? Do you curse the heavens? Pray that God will bring your inanimate objects back to life? Do you yell ‘SERENITY NOW!’? Are you one of those super-Christians who can just take it and smile and say, ‘God blessed me with a vacation from my computer!’ Do you check on plane fares to Australia?