THIS IS NOT what I intended to write today.
Instead, I’m writing what I had to live yesterday.
When I woke up Monday morning, my phone kept flashing a pop-up message that told me it could not connect to my email server.
Something about not recognizing or trusting the server.
I started working on that right away, even before I had anything for breakfast.
I worked on it all the way through the morning. I skipped lunch, working on it and spending quality time with tech support on the phone and in chats, and eventually in writing up a fix-it ticket to the server company’s fix-it guru.
I’m writing this to you now at 2:45 pm on Monday afternoon. This is about the time I put a comma in my day and write the blog article. By this time, the hardest part of my workday would have been over. I would have spent all morning and into the afternoon working on maps for the Gospel of Mark for the Casual English Bible. I was looking forward to doing that.
I was not looking forward to typing onto the tiny keypad of my phone only the good Lord knows how many
- host names
- server port numbers
- SMTP info
- SSL switches on and off
- authentication instructions.
At about 2:30 in the afternoon, an upper tier tech support guy gave me the instructions I needed.
I confess I got a little fidgety during the day. I was ticked at the company. Whatever they did, it pretty well decimated my day.
Keep it cool
I did not, however, lose my temper with any of these people.
I wanted to.
But one of the codes I had to type many times was my website address: StephenMillerBooks.com.
The tech support people I talked with, all three of them, had access to that address. I would suspect they looked it up while we spent all that time waiting for the iPhone to verify, only to end up with error messages over and over again.
I don’t always act like a Christian, especially when I’m around Christians. With them, I feel a bit more relaxed about saying what I think.
But I try not to be like that with people outside the faith.
We Christians get such a bad press, these days. And I believe rightfully so. Not that most Christians are jerks. But some notable Christians are royal jerks. And there are a lot of Christians who are brainwashed into saying and doing things that do not reflect the lifestyle that Jesus demands. Hateful TV shows and radio talk shows have terribly misinformed a lot of Christians into thinking that we-first, me-first, and look out for number one is perfectly acceptable when it is perfectly wrong.
If only I sold fireworks instead
During the time I spent with tech support—typing emails, talking, or chatting—I presumed that they could see that I was a Christian because of the website.
I felt as though I had no choice but to act like I’m a Christian, even in those moments when I didn’t feel like I should act like a Christian. I was feeling the we-first, me-first, and look out for number one. Forget what’s going on with them.
But I couldn’t get over the thought that the tech guys needed to see a Christian acting patient in a situation where many people would throw a fit.
Truly, it’s no tribute to me. I felt compelled by the website. And I remembered paraphrasing something about that in the Casual English Bible that I’ve been working on for the past couple of years.
“Those of us who are strong believers need to be patient with those who are not. We can’t just go around doing as we please” (Romans 15:1).
If my website sold fireworks, however, I might have taken a different approach.
Who knows? The spirit is willing, but the flesh holds the match.