Disaster was averted at our home this past week! Sally had put many hours of research and effort into a paper that she was working on for her class, when unexpectedly, it disappeared from her computer. Sally was distraught, fearing that she would have to rewrite the nearly completed paper, from the beginning. Assuming the role of the heroic husband, I calmly assured her that the paper must have been saved somewhere on her computer. “Let me handle this,” I told her. So, I thoroughly searched, but found no paper. I went through every document, every file and every nook and cranny of that computer, and still found no paper! It was nearly 11pm and I was ready to admit defeat. I wasn’t going to be a hero afterall. “You might have to call your professor and ask for an extension,” I told Sally, but then I had an idea, “Let’s call an expert!” “Who could we call so late in the night,” Sally asked. “I’m going to call our old friend, Jim Farler. He is a computer wiz and he is always up late!” Jim was our trusted typist back in our undergraduate days. He would stay up all hours of the night typing my papers as they went from my head, to pen and paper, often catching up with me. All I had to do was feed him pizza, and he would stay up with me until it was done.
So, it was decided that we would call Jim. Telling him about our dilemma, Jim assured us that the paper must still be on the computer. He calmly talked us through several methods to search the files and look for clues leading to the missing paper. It wasn’t long before we saw the paper flash up on the screen only to disappear again! After Jim guided us through a few more steps, we figured out the problem. The paper was right in front of us the whole time! The file had somehow been renamed, so searching for it under a name that did not exist was futile. Thank you Jim! The solution to our problem was actually very simple, but I am so glad that we called Jim for help. Perhaps Sally and I may have eventually figured out the problem and found the lost document, but we might have spent hours or perhaps days wasting precious time. Sally could have ended up rewriting the paper, and getting a reduction on her grade for finishing it late, only to discover later that her completed assignment was sitting in front of her the whole time.
How much time do we waste in our lives, our careers and even our churches when we refuse to ask for help? How many times have we missed windows of opportunity because we refused to reach out to someone who is an expert in the field or has been in a similar situation? The Lord often sends us an obvious rescue line, but we refuse to accept help and instead choose to work things out on our own terms. Being too proud to admit we need help will get us nowhere, and denial will not make our problems go away. Control issues and pride stifle success and may ultimately lead to failure. “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed,” Proverbs 15:22, (NIV). It’s like the man who refuses to simply stop and ask for directions and ends up way off the road, stuck deep in the mud and who has no choice left but to call for a costly tow. Precious time is wasted, progress is delayed, and opportunities are missed. Don’t try to be that “hero.” Tap into the help that God provides and pray without ceasing while you are at it!