There are times when we try to “help” and we actually make things worse. Ever done that? I may have. Once. OK maybe twice.
One morning on my drive to work, my car tells me the battery in my key fob is low. “Hmm,” I thought. “I better take the appropriate measures to resolve this potential issue before it causes me to be stranded in an unsafe area. Thanks for the warning Car.” OK OK, it may have sounded more like, “Oh snap, it has a battery? Who’s got time to worry about that?”
Naturally I did relay this breaking news report to my darling Hubby who promptly responded with a detailed answer – “OK”. He’s a man of few words. Efficient, I believe he calls it.
After arriving at work I decided that as a seasoned marketing executive I could research this issue, create a plan to address it, execute the plan flawlessly, analyze the results and report key learnings and next steps back to the team. After all it would be a help to the hubby. I deemed myself qualified with ceremonial flair and proceeded to Google the situation at hand.
A YouTube video promptly appeared on my screen. This 12-year-old boy said replacing the battery was a piece of cake. Awesome. Just to be sure, I watched the second video. Due diligence they call it. Good use of buzz words, I thought. An older guy says it’s simple and he will give me step by step instructions. Perfect. I assembled the necessary tools, i.e. a quarter, rubber gloves, face mask, fire extinguisher… Preparation is one of my strong points.
I proceeded through the steps, identified the location of the battery, obtained the information for the type of battery I needed to purchase and then attempted to put the key fob back together again to make the car driveable so I could acquire said battery.
“Snap the two halves back together,” he says. “It’s easy,” he says. “It’s painfully simple,” he says. Well, “he” is wrong.
Nothing would make the two halves of this key fob go back together. These two pieces that were one just moments ago are now seemingly so completely incompatible it’s as if they were never meant to be attached at all. I tried using force, the sneak attack, the standing up approach, the spin-in-my-chair-and-pray-gravity-draws-them-back-together approach. Nothing.
And then things got worse.
In the process of trying to get the two pieces to go back together, I pressed the panic button. The two pieces must have connected for a split second, just long enough for the car to start honking. Loudly.
You may recall that I was at the O-F-F-I-C-E. As my car proceeds to alert everyone in a 5 block radius that there’s a problem, I try to remain calm and push that same little red panic button again to turn off the honking. <HONK HONK HONK> I repeated my attempts. <HONK HONK HONK> I walked outside. <HONK HONK HONK> Surely if I get closer to the car, it will just stop. <HONK HONK HONK> I reasoned with the car. I begged the car. I considered stomping on the remote.<HONK HONK HONK> And then they came outside.
Who’s they? Oh just the CEO of my company, our company founder, and the VP of operations. Yes, all 3 of them walked outside. I mean how could they concentrate on the 2017 budget and strategic growth plan with the ongoing <HONK HONK HONK> right outside the conference room windows? I considered implementing Plan C…run.
Now there were 4 of us out there pushing buttons, kicking things, and doing “make the car stop honking” dances. Not sure what worked, but after several minutes of this madness and my utter humiliation, the honking stopped. “Put down the key fob and back away,” I thought.
I did make it home that night, but the key fob will never be the same. In my desire to help, I made things worse. I later learned from a friend that I could have taken that key fob to the dealership and they would replace the battery for me at little to no cost. I made note of that, but did take the time to inform her that I preferred the complicated and more embarrassing route of problem solving for character-building purposes.
Full of character now, I realize that too often I seek to help God when in the midst of life’s challenges.Maybe I’m impatient or maybe I just think I have the answer.
Our Heavenly Father has a plan to help us with every challenge we will ever face and His plan is far greater than anything we could ever find on YouTube. Our biggest challenge is trusting Him to guide us. Yet, something so seemingly simple is much harder than it sounds. Yet when we seek Him for wisdom and answers, the solutions presented to us are far better than anything we would have devised in our 12 step plan.
Have you ever helped and realized later that you didn’t help at all… instead you made the problem worse? Have you ever hit the panic button or thought of just running away? His help awaits. All you need to do is ask.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5