My computer keyboard likes to play games with me. It brings to life an unusual dialect whenever it feels like it. When I type an ‘a’ it might show a ‘q’; if I type an ‘r’ it might reply with an ‘x’. Yes, it seems to have lots of fun at my expense. Often when I’m in the middle of a Google chat with my husband – my keyboard decides to laugh at us.
Shan’s been puzzled at strange unpronounceable words that suddenly turn up on his computer screen supposedly from his wife. I can’t even tell him what’s happened, because my keyboard won’t let me do that. Instead I have to log out of wherever I am as quickly as possible and shut down my computer. I have to then begin afresh before I can continue my conversation. My husband has often been mystified at the mystery of his disappearing wife right when we were in the middle of an intelligent conversation.
And then, it happens also when I’m not chatting to anyone. When I’m simply minding my own business – typing a blog, writing a story or enjoying myself on facebook. My computer keyboard seems to decide – ‘Hey! She’s having too much fun. Let’s disrupt her life’. It does that most effectively. Only this morning as I was typing a response to God during my Quiet Time, it happened again. I exclaimed ‘Oh no!’
But oh yes, it had happened. Again. For the umpteenth time and the day was way too young. As I began to vent my frustration I realised that it wasn’t such a tragedy after all. I was typing into Word when it occurred. The good news is that when I’m in Word, I can simply zoom out of my word processor and come back at once – and voila – the keyboard is civil again. I’m very thankful it’s not as bad then as when I’m in facebook or on Google chat when I have to also re-start my computer.
So my ‘Oh no!’ was an exaggeration. It was no big deal. I clicked on the ‘X’ at the right hand corner of my document. I exited Word and I came right back. I got into my document and proceeded with my Quiet Time. All was well.
What happened today made me realise (with shame) that often my ‘Oh No’ moments are not as bad as I make them out to be. Know what I mean? The other day, I was off for a walk and a few raindrops fell. For a moment I thought ‘Oh no! I’m wearing my lovely new sneakers today.’ I wouldn’t mind getting my old sneakers dirtied or spoilt but my beautiful new sneakers…. Oh no! Then I gave myself a good talking to. There are much worse problems in the world than having a pair of shoes get a little grubby. There are people without shoes. Those who would count themselves fortunate to have one pair of footwear. Those who find walking very difficult. Those who are paralysed!
So my ‘Oh No’ was turned to an ‘Oh yes’. I decided to challenge myself on my Oh no moments. To find an Oh yes, in them instead. When I struggle physically, I can thank God that my illness is not life threatening. When things don’t go my way – I can remind myself of the many occasions that things did go my way and be grateful. When I realise how petty my little issue is, I can consider others in a far worse plight and do what I can to help them and to pray for their needs instead.
I wonder what your ‘Oh No!’ problems are. Are they as simple as mine often are? Here’s a challenge for us. Next time you get frustrated – next time I get frustrated – let’s think of someone in a far worse off situation and pray for her or for him. Let’s be thankful for the good in our lives. Let’s be intentional in becoming more distressed by the world’s bigger problems – poverty, injustice, terminal illness, slavery, strife, ungodliness…. than by small mundane difficulties. Let’s think of the big picture and not just the picture than contains ‘little me’.
Oh no! I am very selfish and far too often, (and I hang my head in shame).
But…Oh yes – with God’s help I can open my eyes to the plight of a sad suffering world.
Oh yes, with God’s help, I can do what I can to make a difference.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3, 4