Tuesday, February 27, 2007

When you're young you think the world revolves around you. You think it stops when you go to bed, and begins again in the morning as you arise.

I will never forget the day I realized that the world, in fact, did not revolve around me. I was watching the "Flintstones" on television and had to turn it off to go and do something else. I did not want to miss my show, but knew I needed to get moving. Remotes were a new thing in that day, and fun to use (now I can't imagine life without the t.v. remote).

I clicked the t.v. off, but must have double clutched the button. It went off for a moment (back then the t.v. tubes had to warm up and did not come on instantly) and then came back on.

What I realized in that moment was that t.v. show kept going, even though I turned off the set.

I was miffed! How could this happen. I did not want to miss my show. I thought I could turn it off and when I was ready to resume, I could turn it back on and pick up where I left off.

No. This was not to be. I sat there in disbelief, turning it off and on repeatedly trying to wrap my mind around the concept that it did not exist just for my pleasure, and that in fact, it had nothing to do with me. I was overwhelmed.

Off. On. Off. On. Off. On. No matter what I did, the show kept going. I was insensed!

When I stepped outside, my realization caused me to fear many things. If others in my neighborhood did not exist for my personal needs and pleasure, what was going on? A conspiracy had been brewing, and I was totally in the dark.

Suddenly, I felt very, very small. Why had I not been told that life was not about me? Why was I clueless that my siblings were not just there to change the channel for me, before we had a remote (I could be pretty persuasive back then) or coerce them into doing my chores (I once convinced my younger sister what a privilege it would be if she scratched my back...I think I promised her a quarter if she did, or maybe I promised her she could give me a quarter if I let her scratch my back...yeah that sounds more like me)? My Mom had a purpose other than making me dinner and cleaning the house? None of this made any sense to me.

I can be pretty dense, but this realization changed my entire world view. It is amazing how insignificant you can feel when you realize that you do not exist to give others a purpose in life.

Sadly, today, many have not yet had that "remote moment." Partially, because it now requires 37 remotes to operate every electronic device within the sound of your voice. We have a basket on our coffee table which looks pretty, but is there to host our remote collection. We use them all.

I've heard there is something called a "Universal remote" but I am sure I would not be able to operate it. There are limits to my wisdom.

In many ways, "remotes" today serve to keep us under the false impression that others are there for our pleasure. If I don't have the remote when we watch the "devil-vision," I get nervous. I can't sit still.

I think I have Deanna convinced that these little devices belong to men alone. If we are watching something together, she quickly surrenders this "tool for immediate gratification," to me. She understands that my palms get sweaty, my heart starts racing and I start pacing if I am not in control of the images that flash before us.

"I do not want to die on that hill," she says however, she is a pretty good "back-seat-remote-driver". When commercials come on, she starts in with "mute, mute, mute!" I'm not deaf. I can hear. I just get flustered trying to find the button. Of course, the commercials do have a tendency to drown her out. They must preset the volume 25% higher than the show. We have a thing. When she rants "mute," I turn it up as loud as it will go. Boy, are we funny.

Yeah, I know I said I learned that life was not about me. It seems as though our world is constantly trying to convince us otherwise. I am pretty good at surrendering to that notion. I like it being about me. I like it when I am in control.

The problem is, I am not. I've probably wasted enough energy trying to be, in my life, to run the electricity for some large city for quite awhile.

When I yield the "remote" to the Lord, my life improves dramatically. I still have struggles, but He is "with me." When I let Him have the "remote," He is glorified. My life stops looking as if I'm trying to self-promote. That is how it should be.

I think Deanna figured this out a long time ago. She probably tried to tell me, but I was busy...changing the channels.



At 10:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! It has been sooo long since I have written, and sooo long since I have checked the blogs. My company "tightened" the screws on internet service and our service at home was not real good. We have now changed our service along with a new computer. I was sitting here tonight and it hit me that I hadn't been here in a while. I ran across our small group picture the other day (while Becky was scrapping at a retreat with Carol and the other ladies from church this weekend.) katelyn and i had gone to the movies and I saw a guy that from the back reminded me of you and she agreed. God has been working in us quite differently lately. Katelyn, now 12 and I'm not sure that you would recognize her, she has grown sooo much,and i went downtown with a friend of mine to visit some "missions" not your typical organized missions, just people who help "the needy". It was quite the blessing for me and katelyn. She really got to experience God in a new way, and it was exciting to see him working in both of us. We are really excited about this and ready to go back to help. I am already trying to come up with ways we can help. Amazing! God is Amazing. I just wanted to take a moment, to let you know we think of you and Deanna often and we miss you guys. i hope all is well, and would love to hear from you. take Care, and May you all be blessed! We love you. Your Friends from FBC.

At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my!


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