They say the road to hell is paved with them, but, honestly, from the beginning, I had nothing but good intentions.
The plan was simple. It was my Mom’s 85th birthday and I was going to buy her a new, high definition, flat screen television to replace the ancient one she has been watching for at least two decades . So, while we were out running our normal monthly errands, I guided her over to the TV section of the massive, mega all-purpose store we shop at in Lexington.
Of course, her first comment was, “Why do I need a new TV? The one I have works fine.” I patiently explained that once she saw the awesome picture quality of a digital TV, she would never go back to her old one. From the look on her face and the fact she had turned around and left, I could tell she was not interested. However, after shopping for the other items we had come for and reminding her several times it was her birthday and receiving presents was not all that unusual, I was able to steer her back to the media section where we selected the perfect size television to fit in the cabinet she had at home.
After busting a gut to move the old TV to the basement (She still insisted it was fine and she could watch it while feeding the feline multitudes that live with her), I went back upstairs, unpacked the carton, attached the base to the new TV and set the unit in place. It looked great. I screwed in the cable connection, stepped back, pushed the power button on the remote control and … nothing happened. The thing was on, but there were no onscreen instructions, no indication it was connected to anything.
I was forced to return to Indiana having failed in my mission.
Back home, I consulted with a member of our media team and I learned about something called an HDMI cable. Armed with this new information, after a few days, I returned to the scene of my failure armed with a brand new HDMI cable. I plugged it in to the TV and then the new cable box.
Now, I won’t go into all the details, but I tried everything. Finally, I surrendered and called the cable company and after looking up my Mom’s account, a very nice lady told me I needed to obtain new cable boxes, since John F. Kennedy was president when her current ones had been installed.
So, I disconnected the old cable boxes drove across town to the cable place and after waiting in line with other installation-challenged customers, I was finally called up to the window. At that point, I was forced to wait a while longer, as the lady behind the counter felt the need to show the rest of the staff the prehistoric devices I had brought in. Finally, she returned with three new boxes and I was on my way.
My Mom was really impressed when I was able to get the old TV in her bedroom working as well as the TV I had carried to the basement. However, no matter what I did, in spite of the new primary cable box upstairs, regardless of the new HDMI cable, even with the nice lady on the phone guiding me, I could not get the brand new, high definition TV to work.
And then the cable TV guy showed up. The nice lady had pity on me and she was able to get one of the techs to come by. And, he hooked up a small device to the cable connection coming in to the TV. He looked at the screen, frowned a moment, then got down on his knees and shined his flashlight into the space behind the cable box. He reached in and pulled out a second cable, which he then proceeded to connect to the box.
And immediately, all was well!
You see, long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, my mother had installed a satellite dish. But at some point, when the local cable company offered to bundle her phone and cable service together into one package, she had changed services. And it was the old cable from the dish that I had been trying to connect to the new television.
So what lesson did I learn from all this?
It’s simple…. Make sure you are connected to the right source when you are trying to get a clear picture of what is going on around you. As believers, no amount of energy and effort will ever clarify things in your life, unless you are plugged into the only legitimate source of power and truth.
So, how is your Bible reading going these days?
-Rick Amerine is the Senior Pastor at Maple Grove Christian Church.