A Puzzling Television Set Dilemma

by | May 22, 2005 | Surrender, Trials, Worry

My family and I had just enjoyed a “family night”. We had eaten our supper on TV trays in the living room while watching a Christian DVD. We call it our weekend treat. But now it was time for the “get-ready-for-bed” routine, and I was shutting off all of the electronic equipment to prepare for family worship.

As I was attempting to turn off the television however, strange things started happening. I hadn’t even pushed the “on/off” button when the set shut down! I figured it was my imagination in overdrive, so I pushed the button anyway. The results? The television turned back on. Hum.

Now, I had been noticing lately that the television set was acting funny. For example, often, without any prompting, the word “video” would appear every fifteen seconds on the screen. This is quite annoying, but since we have had this particular TV set for about 12 years, I figured it was just entering its teenage years. But now I had a new dilemma! This obstinate set was now becoming far too independent, and I hadn’t yet been able to find a “Dummy Guide” on raising teenage televisions! Just what do you do to make a TV “shape-up” anyway? Help!

But for the moment, I had to address the more immediate problem: How to turn the TV off! I reached down and pushed the “on/off” button. It went off this time, only to jump immediately back to life. “Is it stubborn or is it stubborn?” I muttered as I pushed the button again and again and again. But the results were always the same: The TV always jumped back to life as soon as my finger was off the button!

“This TV is falling apart!” I said to no one in particular as I stubbornly pushed the off button again, only to have it, one more time, jump back to life.

I don’t know how long this would have gone on if I hadn’t noticed the three people rolling around on the couch holding their sides as they tried to stifle their laughter. Now I was really confused! How could they be LAUGHING at me at a time like THIS??? My temper was about to flare in their direction when I noticed that my youngest son had the TV remote in his hand. Every time I pushed the “off” button, he was flipping the set back on!

Why hadn’t I thought of this? Because my vision was so narrowed by my focus on the problematic television set, I never bothered to consider that there might be some larger reason for its behavior! I quickly joined in the laughter and gave my son a love tap on his head.

I learned an important lesson that day. It is easy to keep a narrow-minded focus on problems; however the more I do so, the more frustrated I become. When this happens, I need to simply take a deep breath and stop trying to resolve my problem by myself. It is time to approach the problem from a broader perspective: God’s perspective.

Jesus promised: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 (NIV) Instead of becoming frustrated, we can trust that Jesus will help us through. He will give us the appropriate perspective on our situation and will guide us to its solution. Instead of “Ahhhrs and Urrrrgs!” We can start to laugh at our own shortcomings and enjoy our divine Guide’s perspective on the situation.

Strangely enough, after this episode, we haven’t had any problems with our TV!

P. S. Would you mind turning off the TV for me?

Rob Chaffart


A Puzzling Television Set Dilemma