Life should come with a remote control. Not so that we could control others, though I might like that at times. But so that we could be better at controlling our circumstances, or better yet, controlling ourselves. Over the next three days, I’m going to explore this concept and maybe get us all to think a little more.
This past week, I’ve had several scenarios with different remote controls. One needed a battery. One took extra steps to sync. One ignores me. And we’ll, the last remote control just doesn’t exist.
I replaced the battery on the first. I googled how to reset and resync the second. I repeatedly push the same buttons over and over – harder and harder on the third. And I occasionally win the battle. But the fourth, I guess I need to search more options.
Let me explain that last one. I am looking for a way to remotely control a smart tv from offsite. Kind of like IT guys do when they need to fix my MacBook. They don’t show up anymore. They don’t always require me to drop it off. They go through tiny fiber optic and wired cables. They talk to it over the magic of wifi. The take it over from across the globe. And wallaah … it’s working again. Some technician from Dominion Technology has changed my computer. Oh wait, can they do that? (JK)
Life Application Dilemma … My mother suffers from short term memory dystopia. She has been quarantined in her retirement home since March. I haven’t seen her since that time. It’s a great place that watches and cares for her. And her tv is often her only interaction. But sometimes she pushes the wrong button on her tv remote and messes up the settings, source, sound, etc. There was a time she had Spanish only. Another with no pic. And so on.
So I would like a remote, an app, a program where I could take over her tv and adjust the settings, get her on the same page, open an app like FBLive so she could watch our worship services. A way to fix and control her problems from afar.
As great as that would be for mother’s TV (and maybe a reader can figure it out, market it, become rich and give me a small royalty), I’m not sure this would always be best for life.
Life Lesson One ….
I think we often want this from God in an unhealthy way. We want Him to fix our problems, change our settings, and do it remotely with no fuss nor mess. We don’t want to give up control completely, just enough to make life easier. However, life is messy and we learn from messes.
God is there through all the mess. I think it would be so much worse if he wasn’t. Paul prayed to remove the thorn in his flesh, repeatedly he prayed. But nope. God left it and used it to teach us about Grace.
And he wants complete surrender, not just part of me.
Life Lesson Two …
As parents, we too often want that type of remote control over our kids. We want to fix their problems, bandaid their boo-boos (at all ages), correct their errors (don’t watch that, Junior), or push an agenda (watch this instead). And while I hope our kids will listen to the wisdom we’ve gleaned through lessons learned from mistakes and victories, they’ve got to grow and learn on their own.
Life Lesson Three …
Soon this pandemic will get under control. Soon I’ll get back in to see my mother. If I can avoid that, and stay home, sometimes my lazy butt would take that option. I don’t long for six-to-seven hours driving. But that attitude is not good. We weren’t created for relationships from afar. There is power, strength, and connection made through real life interactions. We need that. She needs that.
So a remote-remote for the smart tv would not always be wise.
Tomorrow … a mute button. For others. For myself.
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