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Ignoring The Basics

Sometimes you have to wonder what some people are thinking.

My official title was “Technical Support” at the time, although I don’t know either how technical or supportive I was. I worked for an Internet service provider and fielded calls from people who were having issues with their online connection. On this particular day, I got a call from a guy who sounded like he was straight out of Green Acres.

“Tech support, this is Matt.”

“Yeah, I’m havin’ some issues with my ’puter. My wife said I had to call y’all before I tried to fix ’er myself.”

“What can I help you with, sir?”

“Well, this thing here’s runnin’ real slow. I got the cover off this stupid thang, and I whipped me out some WD-40 here, but my wife is goin’ crazy and thinks I might ruin somethin’.”

At this point, I had to push the mute button on my phone because I was laughing so hard and didn’t want the poor guy to hear my response. In fact, I couldn’t even field the call because I was unable to keep my composure and be professional. The notion of spraying your computer with a lubricant because it’s running slow is both sad and hilarious. In this instance, the immediate question is wondering how he could even think that might work.

Then again, my attempts are just as ridiculous sometimes. If I were completely honest, I’d admit that when my life has its own problems, I am always trying to fix it myself with something equally as ridiculous. As a Christian, I know that two of the main disciplines I should turn to in my life are reading the Bible and prayer. However, many times I trying everything else, hoping it might remedy the problem.

What is it about ignoring the basics? Why is it that these things can sometimes be the very last resort for the Christian when dealing with life? I always thought that these might be issues when I was in youth group, or even in college. But as a pastor, I can still confirm the fact that I struggle with the very basics that have been laid out for us.

It is ridiculous, not because “I know better,” but because even my personal spiritual history shows this to be the remedy I need. Time and time again, God has answered my prayers in the moments that I cried out to Him. In times where I was confused or alone, it was through prayer and spending time listening to Him that I felt the peace and hope I was looking for. There have been innumerable moments where Scripture gave me the promise or command that I needed to move forward when life seemed to offer me nothing to live for.

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Yet when my back is against the wall once again, I find myself trying to strive in my own strength to get things done. I try to outwit the scenario on my own. And each time I do so, I realize the same basic truth all over again—that I can’t do this without God. And that God has given us these disciplines as a way to communicate with Him and as a source of strength for us.

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