You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run ….
Those lyrics from Kenny Roger’s “The Gambler” have been playing in my mind all week. And boy, are they true!
Sometimes, I’m guilty of ignoring or missing God’s direction, but other times the opposite is true. I’m trying to hear God and be proactive, but I’m torn about what to do. Usually, I’d like a change, but I try to hold on and be patient for the right time.
For example, I am working on a new laptop computer and I love it! But the aggravation it took to get me here was ridiculous!
For three months, my old laptop had been having intermittent hiccups. That is, showing an error message and then cutting off. For most of this time, it seemed I was able to give my computer the “water” it needed, because after some tweaking, it would work fine. Then the hiccups turned into coughs and I took it to Geek Squad.
They didn’t find any viruses, and suggested a more complete diagnostic. But this would have meant being without computer access for days, which for my work would have been hugely problematic.
My husband had been saying for months that I needed a back-up computer, but it was hard for me to accept this. In addition to the expense, having two perfectly functioning computers in my home office seemed extravagant.
He would just shake his head. “You’ve got to be able to work,” he would say.
After my Geek Squad encounter, I thought I had arrested the problem because the computer was hiccup-free for weeks.
Then, last week, they returned, quickly followed by violent coughs. Five minutes on, cough, cut off. None of the things I had done in the past worked. I resigned myself to the fact I would have to be without a computer for awhile.
“Why don’t we just buy another computer? “ My husband asked again.
The thought was tempting, but I couldn’t get past the fact that it felt like my computer issue was minor. A tweak or two and we would be back in business. Should I really spend the money on a new one? Yes, it was an old model. Yes, I did have a business to run. And yes, it could become a back up. But buying a new one?
My husband walked away shaking his head again.
About 30 minutes after this conversation my phone rang.
“How are you?”
“You don’t sound okay…”
“Well, it’s just that I’m frustrated with my computer.” And I went on to tell him the whole sorry tale.
“Well, Honey, all the time and aggravation you’ve spent so far is costing your company money.”
My Dad always knows how to get to the bottom line. “Not to mention the headache!” He added, and I felt myself beginning to cave. “It’s just not worth it,” he continued. “Why don’t you go and pick up a laptop at --”
“That’s the same thing Al said,” I cut in as the light bulb came on. “Did he ask you to call me?”
“Yes,” he said laughing, “but he didn’t tell me what store to say.”
(God Bless, Al. I know he’s frustrated with me when he appeals to an older authority for support!)
So that’s when I finally folded. They were right; enough was enough.
Hindsight being what it is, I've had to admit that this is an area of struggle for me. I can hang on too long, trying to make something work that I should probably let go; be it a material item, situation or even a relationship.
It’s not just that I’m a creature of habit. I really want to be sure before God that I’m not letting something go too soon. I want to be sure that I’m practicing patience, good stewardship, kindness or commitment, and that I’ve done everything possible before I say enough.
But I believe God is trying to show me that often he's released me long before it clicks for me to let it go.
Sometimes stepping back, I can see more clearly and know what I need to do. But other times, I’m too close. As they say, it’s hard to see the forest…
Thank God for those special ones he’s placed in my life who can see the forest AND the trees, and who can affirm with wisdom and confidence, “It’s time….”
…a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,…