The last several months have been challenging for me. I am not Mr. Technology and, quite frankly, I have no desire to learn how to deal with technology driven issues. I like to say that I have other gifts, but understanding how computers work just isn’t one of them.
Back in the day when I had a staff to help me, I never had to worry about problems with email or viruses or anything else that negatively impacted my ability to get my work done. Our resident IT guy came down the hall and fixed whatever I needed – on the spot, right then and there. But that’s not the way it is anymore. I work pretty much alone, except that our son, Andrew, has graciously been our technology person for quite a number of years now.
But the issue is that I hate to bother him and he has a life of his own. And while he used to work with me, I am winding down my consulting practice and he has another job – one that he likes and that he is very good at! So, it makes it all the more difficult when something goes wrong.
Years ago, computers weren’t as necessary in the day to day business world as they are now. Sure, banks and other major corporations used them, but small independent companies relied on pencil and paper – things that I am far more comfortable with. In fact, I think I am one of those rare guys who still likes to balance our bank statement the old fashioned way – and I don’t take it for granted that the bank is correct. I just don’t understand how folks rely on financial institutions to manage their funds without some sort of independent verification.
Recently, several things have come up that have created problems for us. Our website hosting company has gone through a sale and we are now involved with the successor company. So far, everything has pretty much worked the way it is supposed to but they would like for me to find another way to manage my email accounts. They might as well be speaking a foreign language. I have no idea what they are even talking about. And let’s not forget that Andrew has a life of his own…
While I hope that migrating our email can be stalled indefinitely, our main computer, the one that I use for all our accounting work, has pretty much stopped working. I can’t send or receive emails and it takes 15 minutes for the program to even open, if it happens at all. Everything else on the system is operating at a snail’s pace and I can’t get my work done. Last week, Andrew was able to get it all back to normal after hours of work, but this week when I returned from being out of town, the system was shut down again and when I restarted it, all the problems came back.
To cut to the chase, he has spent a great part of his weekend trying to help me. Let me re-phrase that – he hasn’t been helping me – he’s been doing it all… I feel absolutely useless. I don’t know how all this happened and I don’t know how to fix it. It annoys me that I don’t have the knowledge or the skill to deal with these sorts of issues myself. It almost causes me to want to go back to the old way of doing things – and not to be dependent on so much technology.
Now, I am the first person to admit that technology is great when it is working right – but I pay the price when it isn’t. And I know that I am something of a killjoy. I don’t even have a game on my phone and I only use the computer for business or to write these posts. Oh yes, Janet pays some of our bills online as well. I don’t mean to underplay the importance of technology but sometimes I get tired of my lack of understanding. And to me, learning about technology is tougher than learning a foreign language or the most intense theology course I have ever taken!
All this goes to say that we can’t be experts in everything. I know that I have other skills and I enjoy my consulting work. And many times, it even comes easy to me and other people wonder how I do my job. To me it is natural and I seem to have an understanding of what to do when confronted with certain complex situations in my field of expertise.
But give me a problem with technology and I am lost… and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. So the issue is that I need to trust others to help me with things that I just don’t understand; or do well. Our verse for this evening sends us to the Proverbs where we are told, in Prov. 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…”
That’s good advice for me tonight. While I have a thirst for knowledge, there are some things that I must lean on others to assist me with. And that can be difficult for me. My encouragement this evening is that God created us for a specific purpose and we won’t be good at everything – but He did wire us to be great at something. My prayer is that God will reveal what your special gift is and that you will trust God to put people in your life who can handle the other stuff – life is so much more pleasant that way. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace..