My printer and I are having a bit of an argument.
I want my printer to print out about 3 pages worth of documents, a recipe and a page for my 14 year old son’s school work. My printer, however, has decided this job is too hard for a Thursday.
My printer will not print because for some reason it believes there is no paper in the paper tray. The light blinks indicating for me to add paper. The printer icon on my computer jumps up and down to grab my attention. Click on it and a message appears: Refill paper tray.
However, the paper tray has been refilled … several times actually. Originally, the tray was empty. I inserted a nice stack of paper into the tray, but the printer still refused to print.
So, I removed the paper from the tray, straighten the stack, and reinserted it back into the proper location. Nope. No luck.
I removed the paper again, added more paper, refilled the tray, pushed print. Nothing.
Next, I removed about half the stack of paper. I figured maybe in this case less would be more. There remained nothing but silence from my printer.
I am frustrated and angry. It’s such a silly little argument. Neither of these things I want to have printed are urgent, life and death matters. But honestly … I’ve had it up to here with my printer! (If you could see me, my finger would be at about eye level. Not much longer and this printer will have pushed me over the top … which, of course, is why I am writing about it instead of continuing to try to fix a problem that doesn’t seem to want to be fixed.)
Unfortunately, the printer is not the only thing arguing with me today.
My morning began with an argument.
Accusations. Pointing fingers. Raised voices (unfortunately, my own).
What’s a mom to do when a preteen boy plays the laundry blame game at 6:45 am?
Yes, 6:45 in the morning and we are arguing over who was supposed to do yesterday’s laundry. It’s too early for discussions like that. I just need to drink my coffee and breath in peace and quiet, not discuss with frustrated boys the dilemma of who’s job it was to put the laundry on to wash.
It’s like a snowball rolling down hill. (Not that I would really know about that. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually seen snow and none of it was ever enough to make a smallish snowball. Even if I did have enough snow to make a snowball,
Regardless of what I know about snowballs, I do know that arguing tends to breed arguing. Round two followed round one before breakfast was hardly over.
Silence, blank stares, and stubborn glares. It’s a different boy with a different problem. It really doesn’t matter whether it is schoolwork or laundry at the center of the argument. The result is still the same.
The argument with my printer isn’t easily solved. I don’t have a mechanical or technical mind. I’m challenged in this areas. And until my printer decides to communicate with me in a way I can understand or I find someone who speaks the language of printers, this argument will only continue. And truthfully, if my printer and I can’t come to a point of resolution soon, this argument may end with a kick to the curb!
The arguments with each of my sons, however, are very simple to end. It starts with “I’m sorry” and it ends with “Please forgive me. I was wrong.” In the middle, there is taking time to listen and reflect and work together to find a solution. Spending time looking each directly, instead of staring or glaring or rolling eyes. Seeking to understand and resolve instead of point fingers and accuse.
After all, I don’t want to argue with my boys … just as I know they don’t want to argue with me either. Oh sure, I might jest and say I’m going to kick them to the curb or sell them to the next band of traveling gypsies that wanders through the neighborhood. Not that I would … even if I could!
I’d rather end with a hug (or the very least a smile), and know that things between us are okay once again. So I’m going to swallow my pride and be the first to offer the olive branch of peace.
Arguments with printers and other material things might be frustrating. But they are typically an easy-to-fix sort of problem. Troubleshoot and repair it. Or throw out the old and get a replacement.
Arguments with people aren’t as easily remedied. Feelings get crushed. Hearts get hurt. And deep down we feel justified in our actions, believing we were right, desiring for the other person to make the first move.
Even so, it is always better to make the first move toward forgiveness.
Because people can never be replaced.
Do not let the sun go down on your anger. ~Ephesians 4:26