We used the food scale for weeks to accurately measure portion sizes, watching the digital readout grow dimmer by the second. Once in a while, it would flash a warning reading ‘Lo’ indicating that the batteries might be nearing the end of their existence. It was so worn down, it couldn’t even add the ‘w’ to make a complete word.
As with anything that isn’t blowing up or causing urgency, we kept using it, thinking it wasn’t being serious. It’s like when the gas light goes on in your car. You always have some time before you have to pay attention to it.
I don’t take my chances too long with the car, but it seems like it’s jumping the gun a bit when you have to deal with an issue with electronic devices. I could manage fine if I squinted just right and turned it, so the light wasn’t directly shining on the screen.
Even when I could hardly read if it measured in grams or ounces, I ignored it, and once it had given me what I needed, I would forget about it until the next time I had to use it.
“I really should put new batteries in this,” I would say with every single use with absolutely no intention of doing so.
History seems to repeat itself. I have never gotten a different outcome when I have lived on the edge in this way. I pushed the on button, and it remained silent. I hit it again, thinking I had not done it hard enough. No familiar beep meant the unthinkable. It had died.
How could it betray me like this after so much time of it running on fumes, trying to warn me it was on its way out?
I opened “the drawer.” Everyone has one where you keep items, but nothing resides in there that is useful for times like these.
You move aside keys you have no idea what they open, a flashlight that when you flick it on has the same affliction as the food scale and screws. Lots and lots of mismatched screws that belong to something somewhere, essential oils that have names like breathe easy and relax, glue sticks, charger cords that have gotten separated from whatever they are supposed to bring back to life, and underneath everything, you find that package of homeopathic stress mints.
You do get credit for that extra refrigerator light bulb because you bought it months ago and threw it in there, totally prepared for when that burns out.
You wade through it all on the hunt for the triple A’s that seem to disappear the minute you bring the package across the house’s threshold. You have double-A, C, and D. The square 9 volt. When was the last time you ever needed that? The tiny round ones that no one should ever swallow and the flat pancake-shaped offering that belongs to nothing in the whole house.
You are left with only one choice. Go around and start kidnapping what you need from the other devices you own. Because you don’t need one or two, this monster takes three. You swear on a stack of Bibles that you will replace them. Later, you use the remote for the tv, and it’s not working. Why? Because the food scale is now functioning at its best.
It’s not like you haven’t been near a display at the store where you could solve your problem. But it seems that your brain decides to have amnesia, making you forget you have a crisis at home where inanimate objects run your life and drain your energy.
This leads to getting so over the situation that you make a special trip to get them, buy them and find a stash you have put away in that ‘other’ drawer from the last time you did this.
It’s a fun game I don’t recommend playing.
While not only battery challenged, there’s another issue in my home that baffles the mind. No one except me will put a new roll of toilet paper on the holder. I don’t know where this started and how I became responsible for it; I must have signed a contract I am not aware of.
It’s not uncommon to see a new roll sitting next to the holder on the sink or an entire pile of them on the floor by where one needs to be placed. But, never, will it be hanging on display. Never.
When my daughters were younger, I thought maybe removing the old and putting on the new was not something they could handle, but no one lacks motor skills at this point. If they can brush their own hair and swipe a credit card, they can do this; I know it. So it can only mean one thing. I enabled it.
When I became aware of that, I did try to fight back by going on strike and not doing it anymore so that they would understand what it was like to be me. It was an ‘I will show them’ moment. No one seemed to notice, and it drove me to resume the job of replacing it. You just know when you are up against those who are more strong-willed than you are.
It makes one wonder how we get into the habits we do. According to those who have studied human behavior, it’s not always easy to break patterns we have established because they can become unconscious, making it difficult for us to see them in the first place, like fears, worries, and irrational thoughts.
When my youngest daughter was six, she went through a time of having nightmares. It was not uncommon for her to suddenly be next to my bed, waking me up, tormented, asking for me to come into her room and pray. I had the same thing happen when I was young, so I knew the feeling.
I would get her to calm down, remind her that she had protection around at all times, and she would get through it. This kept happening to her for a while, but then it suddenly stopped. When that occurs, you let it go because it means your prayers have been answered, and you get to go back to not being woken up by a frightened child.
Shortly after her bad dreams had ceased, I noticed one day that she put her finger to the middle of her forehead and pushed on it.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“I am changing the disc in my head.”
She went on to tell me that one night, while terrified after another alarming middle of the night awakening, instead of having me help her, something told her to pretend she was putting a new movie into her mind. She followed the instructions she was given, and this cured the problem.
“I use it when I have thoughts I don’t like. It works on everything,” she said.
She told me it was like putting in a new DVD and went through the physical motion of pretending to take out something, put something new in, and push the spot on her forehead again. (This was well before all of the streaming services we have now)
Whether by angelic intervention or not, we can change how we process a situation. Once you realize that the way you are thinking is not serving you, that is the minute you can take over and put things in their proper order.
Another way to end the struggle within over outside circumstances is to do this from Romans 12:2:
Let God change your life. First of all, let Him give you a new mind. Then you will know what God wants you to do. And the things you do will be good and pleasing and perfect. (NLV)
Matthew 7:7-8 describes how you can do that:
Ask, and what you are asking for will be given to you. Look, and what you are looking for, you will find. Knock, and the door you are knocking on will be opened to you. Everyone who asks receives what he asks for. Everyone who looks finds what he is looking for. Everyone who knocks has the door opened to him. (NLV)
Pray and ask God to replace unhelpful ideas that play in your mind and hold you hostage. Like old batteries and empty toilet paper rolls, you can be changed.