Just Work, Dadgummit

I am a tech geek. I love technology and all the wonderful and efficient things you can do with it.

I love technology … right up until the point it doesn’t work. I accept the occasional glitch and hiccup, but when A + B = C and you do A, then add B, and you get Z; that’s when I tend to lose my mind.

Enter my recent upgrade to FiOS Quantum, the premium level TV and Internet offering from Verizon. I’ve loved FiOS since it was launched, and for the most part the product has been great. With Quantum, my three separate DVR’s are replaced by one media server that has more than double the capacity than I previously had, and can record six programs at once. In addition, it makes every TV in the house operate the same (pause live TV, access DVR, etc.) Previously, the TV’s in my kids’ rooms had only standard set-top boxes.

So I receive the new hardware, set it all up, and ….. my Internet is working. A not-so-quick call to customer support and the problem is resolved. I move on to the media server setup and …. my premium channels aren’t working. Not that big of a deal, but still a problem that needs to be resolved. Back to customer support.

The resolution was Verizon sending me a new media server (it was a hardware issue). I unpackage the new device, connect it to my TV, and …… I run into another problem. Back to customer support.

By this point, I would normally be yelling and/or speaking very condescendingly to the poor soul on the other end of the line. My frustration is not with them, but rather with the fact the darn thing I expect to work isn’t working. I would also be reaching for a beer to help me calm down, with the bonus of having something to throw in case the issue goes really, really bad.

Frustrated

This behavior, however, does not align with my personal month of discipline. More importantly, this behavior does not align with my life as a Christ follower. That’s not to say Christians never get angry. Even Jesus went a little ape doodoo when he saw the temple turned into a marketplace.

But the lesson with my recent frustrations is patience. It’s also a reminder that God uses situations like this to mold us into better people. I’ve asked God to help make me a better man, and this is a trial He is using to do so. I am proud to say my conversations with each of the tech support representatives with whom I spoke were cordial and constructive. Well … I did end up hanging up on one rep who was, for lack of a better phrase, clueless. I look back on that, however, knowing I should have handled it better, and that it is all part of the learning and growing process.

You can’t walk a thousand miles and not have sore feet. You can’t get from here to there without some bumps along the way. The next time you feel you’re having a “poop has hit the fan” kinda day, ask yourself if perhaps God is challenging you to grow in that moment.

James said it best:

“2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” – James 1:2-5 (NIV)

via kushandwisdom.tumblr
via kushandwisdom.tumblr

Intentional

It’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it. I believe that saying is true. The problem with me is that I often choose to not put my mind to it. My diet, my exercise, my faith; I know what I need to be doing to be strong in those aspects of my life, yet I simply choose not to do those things (for the most part).

The same is true with all the small stuff in my life. Cleaning, laundry, DIY projects, time management, etc. I am smart enough and capable enough to do what needs to be done, but the monster called laziness cane be quite overbearing.

Over the past fifteen months, I’ve had success in eating well and dieting. I’ve also had success with getting into a routing at the gym. I’ve even taken on reading the entire Bible in one year. But through it all, for various reasons, I’ve let it all revert to how it used to be.

Go on vacation? Stop eating well. Busy at work? No time for the gym. Make time for God today? Try to find some time later. It seems no matter how well intentioned I may think I am, I make it so easy for myself to find a reason to not follow through. I am literally my own worse enemy.

That stops today.

Today I have kicked off me personal month of discipline. In summary, I am going to be intentional with what I eat and drink. Gone are the random snacking and grazing. I will only eat clean, healthful meals for the entirety of this month. If that means saying no to dinner invites or get togethers, then that is what it takes. Or better yet, I will come prepared with my M-O-D compliant food and ensure I am eating correctly.

Gone also is any liquid not water or juice. That’s right ….. no beer, wine, rum, coffee, beer, vodka, beer, tequila, beer, or soda. Did I mention no beer? If you know me, you know this is huge for me. However, it would not be the first time I’ve gone alcohol free for a month or longer, and I know that 70% of my flabendency (tendency to be flabby) is a result of my love of beer.

My personal month of discipline also means I will be back in the gym every morning. I loved the feeling of walking out of the gym at 6:30 AM having worked out and having the rest of the day in front of me. My alertness and energy levels were higher, and it just made for being in a better mood all around. I miss that, and I need that in order to compliment what I am doing with regards to my diet.

I also plan to publish to my blog every day this month. Be it a 600 word post, an inspirational image, or a silly video from YouTube, I know I have something to share every day, and the only reason I don’t is because I don’t make the time to do so.

Most importantly in this month of discipline, however, is my relationship with God. I will begin and end every day with quiet time with Him. I want to be more in tune to what God is telling me, and I want to ensure I am responsive and obedient to His will. I’ve found it’s easy to hear God’s message. The tricky part is following through on what He’s calling us to do, and I want to be intentional in my obedience as well.

It’s all interconnected ….. mind, body, and soul. We need to be able to work on them together, and be enriched in all aspects of our lives.

Intentional

 

So I hope you keep me in your prayers and cheer me on from afar. I know this will not be easy, but I also know it will be so very worth it.

P.S. My son’s birthday is May 1 and we’ll be celebrating at every Starbucks in the Tampa Bay area that day. (I’m so going to miss the coffee).

 

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)