Putting irritations into perspective

In one of my classes last night, I wanted to show students several short videos of Christian counselors in action. These students were finishing up their last fieldwork classes and so I thought it would be good to remind them of the kinds of professional identities they are developing.

Unfortunately, our Internet didn’t cooperate. Usually, I have no problems showing streaming video in class. However, we have been experiencing a bandwidth problem of late when all of our classrooms are filled with students getting on the Internet at the same time.

Clearly, an irritation. I could not accomplish what I wanted to. I had good material but at that point in time, I had to punt. My thoughts, at the time, were something like this, “someone needs to fix this problem because I have limited opportunities to do this kind of teaching!” I imagined then that I would write to our administrative folks and complain (nicely!) that we need more bandwidth in order to keep providing a quality education.

Today, however, I have a renewed perspective.

I read of a missionary professor talk about the bandwidth issues in his school. For what would cost about $20 per month (DSL, 512KB) in the U.S., they must pay $880 per month! If they want to double their bandwidth (and they need to due the increase in computer use at the University), they must also double the fee per month!

And this is just the bandwidth problem. I have visited that school and student housing wouldn’t qualify here for a place to keep my lawn mower.

Are there things that irritate you, especially things that are supposed to work well but don’t? Well, it is irritating. And we should work to fix the bugs. However, in the right perspective, I can have a thankful heart for how much I have been given AND a willingness to sacrifice more for those who have even less.

I’m still going to write that letter, but with a vastly different spirit.


Filed under Africa, Biblical Seminary

3 responses to “Putting irritations into perspective

  1. D. Stevenson

    first world problems

  2. Armando

    Good observations Phil. I remember my first Tandy computer, it had a DOS operating system dial up internet access as well as less memory than most calculators today. Expectations, especially in the west have given us over to a distorted view of need verses wants. I often meditate on Biblical concepts of time and value, it never ceases to humble me.
    There is lots of share ware that will enable you to pull streaming video off the net and since these are posted there would be no copy write infringement. Another way to look at your problem is in the positive light of Biblical’s success. May your enrollment always out pace your band width!

  3. Kelly Keith Dunn

    For me, I need to ask myself: “REALLY? Are you going to let this, which does not make any difference in light of eternity, steal your joy? — your peace? No, I am not by your grace I will not!

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