Monday, October 7, 2013

Waiting in silence while voices Sing

     I just put gasoline in my truck and filled the tank for the first time in almost a year. The trip meter said just over three hundred miles. That wasn’t the plan. When I filled up the tank in Victorville, California in October 2012, I was going to top it off in Ridgecrest about two hours later. I was considering driving to Nevada on my way out of Death Valley for a tank of gas. But the plans went awry. I put 30 miles on the truck before it broke. Then the truck sat in my yard for almost a year before I finally fixed it. What took me so long?
     Last week I finally took my iPod to The Apple Store. When I bought the iPod secondhand just over a year ago, the headphones didn’t work right. If I plugged them in all the way I couldn’t get the sound. So I had to have the plug partway out of the jack. If I moved wrong the plug popped out. I had to watch my step at work and if I bent over it usually came unplugged. So several times a day, I had to stop what I was doing, back up whatever I was listening to, and carefully re-insert the plug and move on. If I needed to bend down to scrub a spot on the floor or wipe down a wall, I just expected it to pop out and worked in silence.
     But I finally made an appointment at “The Genius Bar” of The Apple Store. When I arrived for the appointment, store associates were moving around the crowds with iPads and I got helped right away. I explained to the man helping me what the problem was. I decided not to bother telling him about the few other problems with the iPod. If they could just fix the headphone jack I would be fine.
     He had heard of the problem. Apparently it was a chronic problem with my model. No, he wouldn’t fix it. But he would sell me a new one for a third of the cost. A new iPod cost 300 dollars and they let me have one for 99. It wasn’t what I was prepared to spend, but I also wasn’t prepared to have every problem with the device taken away and receive a brand new one, with a warrantee.
     I went back to work the next day and marveled at my ability to move freely about and keep listening to my sounds. I could bend down. I could drive the golf cart. It stayed plugged in. I was so delighted that I spent a long time on Friday in my knees wiping down all bases of all the toilets and the walls around them.
     Why did I wait so long? Is anyone else out there like this? My truck was one thing. I was afraid it wouldn’t get fixed. I thought that I didn’t actually need it. I was afraid it would cost too much. Maybe that was the same with the iPod. Does anyone else out there live their life with something missing, something broken, some unmet need?
     After I lost Naomi, I spent about 5 years living in my own miserable little world before finally getting help. And this is so much like my iPod I can’t believe it.
     Help was out there. I got rid of something that was slowing me down, hindering my life and actually causing me anxiety. I didn’t know it, but I was able to get something brand new, clean, with nothing wrong with it. I was amused and amazed at my reluctance to just go ahead and make things better.
     Things were better almost instantaneously when I got the new iPod. Not so much with Celebrate Recovery. But part of the healing was the time it took. The gradual change built my trust in God.
     But both times, I was depriving myself of something new. Both times, help was out there. Both times, there was joy in new things.
     But the big question is why did I wait? I’ve thought about it and I’m not all that sure. I just think that it might have been this: I didn’t know things could be better. I had convinced myself to just endure the situation and not expect things to get better. Don’t get my hopes up thinking of a better life. Just life in misery. Okay, the broken iPod wasn’t miserable. My analogies are crossing over each other. But the reasoning is pretty much the same. Both times, I didn’t want to experience the letdown if I tried to make things better and failed.
     And all along, help was out there.
     So here’s a message. I wish someone had told me. I wish I had come to my senses earlier. But what’s done is done. So I am passing on what I know now. If you’re suffering with some kind of hindrance, don’t be like me. Take steps to get help. Sometimes it means getting something new. One time, for me, it was a new life. 

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