Monday, May 30, 2016

Those little glitches

Jo-Anne Berthelsen

Have any of you ever experienced those times when you are sure you have remembered everything, yet, at the last moment, someone points out something you have done wrong or something you have omitted to do altogether? Sadly, I have—more than once.

Take the time some of you may remember at our Christian writers’ conference when I arrived early at the site, specifically to check that my laptop would work with the data projector there. Yes, it seemed fine. Then I arrived early the next day for my actual workshop to check again. Yes, everything looked fine on my laptop—I heaved a sigh of relief. However, I omitted to check whether my lovely presentation actually showed up on the big screen behind me. Imagine my horror when the participants pointed out it was blank! For some time after, this experience shook my confidence in using power point presentations. Yet it also taught me not to hinge my entire input on them and to be able to ad lib better at a moment’s notice.

Or take the time I arrived to speak at a meeting of what I thought would be a small group of women and with only a few of my books, only to find over a hundred men and women present in equal numbers. I quickly revised the illustrations I had planned to use, in order to relate better to the men, but there was nothing I could do about my books. From then on, I have always made sure I can relate to both men and women, if necessary—and that I carry some extra books in my car!

Or take the day I turned up to speak at another group to find the meeting well under way. I had not realised that the time I had been given to arrive was the very moment I was expected to start speaking. I have never set out my books and organised my power point presentation so quickly in my life. This experience taught me to enquire more closely when given arrival times—and then to allow another thirty or more minutes on top of that!

Now I am in the throes of that final check through my latest manuscript for any little glitches I might have overlooked. I am sure it is perfect. After all, I have read it through so many times. Imagine my chagrin then, when one of my proofreaders points out a typo on the very first page—then another in the middle of a key Bible quotation that changes its meaning entirely. Worse, she questions some facts I have included early on in the book. Heart in mouth, I check them out again in the sources I used. Hmm, she could be right. Far better to leave the whole section out than to be incorrect.

These little glitches might well be embarrassing at the time. Yet God has used each one, I believe, to teach me more about humility and to give me strength and wisdom for the next part of my journey. Things might go wrong. Things might take us aback. But God is there through it all—and I am so grateful for that.

How about you? Have you ever experienced any little glitches like mine?


Jo-Anne Berthelsen lives in Sydney but grew up in Brisbane. She holds degrees in Arts and Theology and has worked as a high school teacher, editor and secretary, as well as in local church ministry. Jo-Anne is passionate about touching hearts and lives through both the written and spoken word. She is the author of six published novels and one non-fiction work, Soul Friend: the story of a shared spiritual journey. Jo-Anne is married to a retired minister and has three grown-up children and four grandchildren. For more information, please visit www.jo-anneberthelsen.com.

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for your post Jo-Anne. I think we've all experienced embarrassing or frustrating moments like this. Like when I arrived at to do a locum & some 15-20 minutes in the receptionist finally told me the yoke of my dress was folded out (rather more embarrassing than having one's tag showing) & I had to wonder why it took so long to tell me. I did wonder why they were looking at me strangely.

    I do love your perspective ' Things might go wrong. Things might take us aback. But God is there through it all—and I am so grateful for that.'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad that locum DID tell you eventually, Jeanette, and didn't leave you to go through your whole day with that yoke out! Your experience reminded me of a dear older lady who used to straighten my skirt and generally make me look tidy every time before I got up to speak in our church some years ago. She might have embarrassed me at the time, but that sure was better than being embarrassed in front of the whole church!

      Delete
  2. Great post Jo-Anne. You made me smile as I read them although I can well imagine that smiling would be the last thing on your mind when actually facing each instance. I do remember when your powerpoint didn't work - I felt much for you - but let me assure you did a wonderful job in spite of it. Well done. At the last conference it happened to me when setting it up - thankfully Simon got it fixed for me before I started. Whew! (A big thank you to Simon.)

    Must have been a big shock when you found a large group of men and women at an event you thought would host only women. I have had many glitches in my own journey over and over again. But yes, God has taught me humility through it and has shown me how much I need to depend on Him. As long as He keeps doing that I think we will be OK, don't you? And yes, a lot of worthwhile learning in the process.

    Thanks for sharing Jo-Anne and all the best with your latest book. God bless you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Anusha. You have such a lovely gift of encouragement! And yes, how blessed we are to be able to depend on God and to know that, whatever happens, God still loves and accepts us.

      Thank you too for your encouragement with my latest book. I'm getting there!

      Delete
  3. Ahh yes Jo-Anne, so many times it is hard to list them!
    I work in a newspaper office where part of my job is proof reading the notices. Usually there is another person present so she reads out the notice and I check it against the proof.
    However, when she was away for a couple of weeks I did it by myself - never a good idea!
    The 'big ' error came with a notice I placed on my family's behalf. A 60th wedding anniversary notice for my parents in law. Unfortunately I put the wrong year in the date, so even though it announced '60 years' the date put it at 50years.
    I definitely don't enjoy favorite daughter in law status now.
    Familiarity does breed complacency.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear, Rosie--I feel for you and hope they will soon forgive what really is an easy slip to make, for sure. Bu you brought back memories for me of my time working as an assistant editor, when I would sit with the person doing our layout work and one of us would read the article or whatever out loud while the other carefully checked what was really there--the best way to go by far for catching those glitches that they eye just doesn't see.

      Delete
  4. Haha... yes, Jo-Anne and and all of you, things do go wrong. All the time. Clothing, typing and otherwise. I had a clothing mishap on the weekend, and an awful typo last week. In the end, it's the accompanying attitude that come to the rescue, as did yours on your near-fatal more-than-you-expected day, Jo-Anne. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes, it's good we can laugh at such events in our lives, Margaret--well, at least later on, if not at that exact moment! And hopefully it all serves to make us more humble in the process.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh yes, Jo, you were at one of my Victorian presentations when my mic battery decided to go flat! I had to wait until I could leave the stage while George was 'violining' to replace the battery.It never happens when you're rehearsing at home, oh no, the nasty gremlins always do their dirty work in public. One thing I've learned is to never show your embarrassment but forge on regardless. Yes it is good for our humility!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rita, I thought you handled that situation so well--you certainly did forge on regardless! And it all worked out fine in the end, using George's microphone. So well done to you!

      Delete