Sometimes I just hate computers and everything that involves computers! I spent all of the last week going around and around with three different computer/program-related problems. First off, I was having trouble with my e-mail that was venting off somewhere into cyberspace after I transferred my domain name from one host to another. Second, I was battling a problem with one of my vendor payment accounts where I was on a merry-go-round of customer support telling me to do the same steps I had repeated countless times. Third, I was testing a new Kindle-creator software that wasn’t quite living up to the reviews I had read.
After a week of back and forth with both my vendor and the creator of the Kindle software, we finally concluded that the trouble was due to problems on their end. Both updated some settings, and voila, everything works fine. FINALLY! The situation with my e-mail, however, was not so easily solved. After much controversy with the new domain hosting company, we finally uncovered the problem. Though I purchased my domain name through this company, my domain name (and e-mail) were not hosted there. They were hosted at the company with which I have my website. Once I went into my website settings and changed a couple of default settings, we were back in business. FINALLY! Good grief!
Default settings — sometimes they’re helpful, and sometimes they’re a pain in the left toenail (which comes from all the kicking I do in my frustration). When I tell my computer to do something, I just expect it to do it in the way I think it should be done. I often fail to check the default settings.
“I didn’t want my black-and-white laser printer to print that document. I wanted my color printer to do it.” – Unless I change the default settings, that’s just too bad!
“I didn’t want to read this document in that program. I wanted it to open in this program.” – Well, I guess I need to tell the computer that, huh?
“Why does it always do that when I push this button?” – Hmm, maybe because that’s the default action.
See what I mean? Default settings are usually helpful, but they can also cause some major confusion and frustration. Sadly, default settings are not limited to computers, or even to electronics. No, I’m afraid our attitudes have a default setting as well. Unfortunately, it’s often not set properly. Allow me to explain.
You’re running late for work when you’re dog decides to throw up all over the bottom of your pant leg. You hurriedly change clothes, yelling at the kids to stop watching television and finish their breakfast. You make it to the car, turn the key and … nothing! No roar. No click. Nothing! The kids have begun to argue. Your husband won’t answer your call. And your shoe still vaguely smells of dog vomit. What is your immediate reaction? What is your default setting? Do you lift your hands in praise to the Lord and break out in a chorus of “How Great Thou Art”, or do you lift your hands in a different gesture, yell at the kids, and weep in your utter frustration?
I hate to tell you this, but I think most of us have our attitude default set to “Grumble” instead of “Gratitude.” First Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Did you catch that? It’s not just a suggestion. It is the will of God. In every situation, no matter how difficult or overwhelming, there is something for which to give thanks. We may have to search hard for it, but it is there. Take the scenario above. Bad situation. Frustrating circumstances. But it could have been worse. The car could have died on the way to work instead of in the driveway, leaving the woman and her two kids stranded on the side of the road somewhere.
God is good all the time. Why shouldn’t we praise Him all the time? Let’s check our default settings. If, in fact, they are set to “Grumble”, let’s change them over to “Gratitude”. Then, maybe the next time we face a difficult trial, we won’t make it worse with our sour attitudes. Instead, we’ll look for the positive and react with thanksgiving. Not only will it change our attitudes. It will change our lives!!! An attitude of gratitude — now, that’s a default setting worth having.
In what ways can you express more gratitude throughout your day?