Well, this last week certainly has been challenging. I knew I would be needing a new cell phone in the near future. Mine is 4 years old, and has been getting slower and slower over the last year.
A couple of weeks ago, it started freezing up. The screen would just lock and I couldn’t make it do anything. This would last several minutes. Sometimes, I would have to restart my phone, and one time I actually had to take the battery out to get it to power off.
One evening, while taking my mom grocery shopping at Walmart my husband and I looked at the new phones. I decided on the Samsung S8. My current phone, the S3, was my first smart phone. I have enjoyed using it all these years, but it is definitely time for something new.
I can’t believe the price of smart phones. When you have to set up a payment plan for a cell phone, it is way too expensive. I realize that they are designed to operate like a mini computer, but do they really need to be priced like a high-end laptop?
My husband ordered a new phone for me from AT&T right after we looked at them at Walmart. After a week, my phone had not come.
Last week I stopped being able to talk on my phone unless I had it connected via Bluetooth to my car, or had it on speaker and yelled into the microphone. At one point, my phone stopped receiving texts, which I realized because my texts were not going out. That required a restart to get it working again.
After talking with AT&T customer service, they apologized for never placing the phone order. You can bet that they started charging him for the insurance when he originally placed the order, though.
They said they would be sure to place the order this time. Four days later, the order still showed to be processing. It hadn’t even been mailed yet! Another call to customer service (and multiple times being transferred around) my husband was told that they would overnight the phone free of charge.
Three days later, we finally get notification that the phone has shipped. If I am lucky, I will get my phone today, but I don’t really expect it until Monday.
Having an unreliable personal cell phone is frustrating, but having an unreliable business phone is incredibly stressful. It’s just not professional to yell at a person over the speaker. And it’s not a good thing to fail to respond to important texts because I didn’t receive it.
Over the last two weeks there have been moments when I lost my cool with the entire phone situation. Having to wait 2 weeks to receive a new phone (it normally takes 2 days) is something that I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around.
Yes, of course if we would have suspected such a hassle we would have simply gotten a phone from Walmart that night we looked at them; but who knew?
I really believe that things happen for a reason, whether I know what that reason may be or whether I agree with it. In the medical community, it has been proven that for a body to be strong and healthy it must be physically stressed.
Bones need weight bearing exercise to become dense and strong, and the rest of the body needs cardio exercise that raises your heart rate. And a mind that is challenged will develop more than a mind that never is. In short, an appropriate amount of physical and mental stress is healthy; let me re-emphasis the word appropriate.
But what about when things don’t go as planned? When seemingly unnecessary situations arise? I believe that these things are there to test our spiritual development. The tests for physical and mental development are pretty easy to see, but how does one test for spiritual development?
Self-control and the ability for one to look past the present situation to do the right thing mostly exists in our own mind. The only time it is put to the test is when things don’t go as planned.
If you have ever pondered a situation in which you admitted, “I don’t know what I would do in that situation”, then you can begin to grasp the concept of being spiritually tested.
Why be tested spiritually, especially if God knows everything? It’s so that we can know the reality of our spiritual development. It’s pretty easy to know your physical strength, most people are aware of their mental strength (and some work to increase it), but we don’t give much thought to spiritual strength. When you look at it that way, it makes the test a little easier.
As with physical and mental strength, if you don’t like the results of the spiritual test then you can work to become stronger. It won’t keep challenges from coming your way, but how you handle them could be the difference between being crushed by them and coming through it no worse for wear. What matters is how you handle them.
James 1:2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.