I got annoyed this morning. I was at the church, setting up my laptop to work with our church projector – ready for a group of Year 1s from a local school to come and find out more about what our church is like. I had set everything up yesterday. It worked fine.
Of course this morning, when it was needed, it wouldn’t work properly. It would not run a video clip in our projection software (EasyWorship) even though it has done so happily before and did so yesterday.
I tried reinstalling a set of codecs (they help the computer read different types of video file) but that did not work either.
Then EasyWorship decided to show the PowerPoints embedded in it wrongly and I had to redo them.
The children were almost at the church and it was not working.
In the end I gave up and used a less elegant process where I used Windows Media Player. It worked.
I have tried to be self-aware and ask myself why I got annoyed. It was a combination of the time pressure, the frustration, the technical failure after previous technical competence, and… a lack of grace, patience, self-control, kindness… Sorry to Susan and Michael who saw and heard my frustration. Sorry to God for losing it. Sorry to the programmers at EasyWorship for the ungracious thoughts I had about them. Sorry all around.
I am reminded (and those present were reminded) that I am a work in progress. I do need a big sign around my neck – ‘please be patient, God is still working on me.’
But the joy is that he does not give up on me. He may feel frustrated when I act differently to the way that he wants. He may be sad when I don’t live in the way he wants and in the way I preach. He may be disappointed when I bear less fruit than he had hoped.
But he doesn’t go grrrrrrrrr at me. Instead when I come to him and ask for forgiveness and a fresh start he patiently says, “Okay. Let’s try again.”
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. [sigh of relief]
God the parent…
Whenever your kids are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God’s omnipotence did not extend to God’s kids. After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. And the first thing He said to them was: “Don’t.”
“Don’t what?” Adam asked.
“Don’t eat the Forbidden Fruit.” God replied.
“Forbidden fruit? We’ve got Forbidden Fruit? Hey, Eve… we’ve got Forbidden Fruit!”
“Don’t eat that fruit!” said God.
“Because I am your Creator and I said so!” said God, wondering why he hadn’t stopped after making the elephants. A few minutes later God saw the kids having an apple break and was angry.
“Didn’t I tell you not to eat that fruit?” the ‘First Parent’ asked.
“Uh huh,” Adam replied.
“Then why did you?”
“I dunno,” Eve answered.
“She started it!” Adam said.
Having had it with the two of them, God’s punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own…thus the pattern was set, and it has never changed.