An amazing (and disturbing) thing just happened to me yesterday. In fact, it’s still happening. I was logged onto my computer, found something on the web I wanted to see in a hard copy, and hit the “print” button. Much to my dismay and colossal consternation, nothing happened.
As I began to investigate the problem, I discovered a message that read, “Printer Offline.” I don’t usually talk to computers, but this was a major exception. I told it how impossible that happened to be. I’d just printed something, and it was perfectly online. Printers don’t just fall offline (I don’t think).
Is My Computer Lying?
As I continued to delve into this mysterious malady in my own, un-technological way, I received other messages. At one point, my computer told me it couldn’t find the printer. This was absurd on its face (and maybe an outright lie). The printer is sitting right beside the computer.
Just to be sure we were both on the same page, I turned my monitor ninety degrees so the screen was facing the printer (only inches away). I still received the same message. I now knew the problem, of course. My computer has gone blind. I can deal with sightless people (if they’re willing to deal with me), but I’m quite intolerant of blind computers.
So, here I sit staring at my printer (which is quite visible to me) and my computer. I have things to print, but apparently, they won’t speak to one another. If they were people, I could possibly reason with them. As it is, I’m at a loss.
Is Patience Fruit or a Virtue?
I suppose I’ll have to break down and take the time to call a tech. I hate doing that for several reasons. Number one, I dislike doing business on the phone. I really prefer face-to-face confabs. Secondly, I’m not good at wading through the various outrageous accents most techs seem to have. Most importantly, however, I really hate spending my time on eternal hold (which is usually the outcome of many of these communications).
I guess my main problem is a lack of patience. Patience is something the Apostle Paul spoke of quite often. In Galatians, he refers to it as a fruit of the Spirit. In 2 Timothy, he tells his young son in the faith to preach with great patience. In the same letter, he tells Timothy that he (Paul) has patience. The big problem here is the fact that he never tells us how to get that patience on our own.
How can we clothe ourselves with patience (Colossians 3:12) if we don’t know how to obtain it? The Biblical implication is that we need to grow patience. Paul calls it fruit in Galatians 5:22-25. The only way I know to get fruit is to grow it. My question it this, however. How do you grow fruit if you don’t have the patience to do so?
Apparently, one possible answer is this: Pray for patience and God will send you a printer and a computer.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently pastor of Smith Chapel in Great Falls, VA.]