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The Open Door


I just purchased my first “Smart TV.” Did you know that TVs are smart now? I really didn’t know that either, but they are.

At the store I asked one of the salesmen, “What is a smart TV?” Even while I was asking, I thought to myself, “That is a really dumb question.”

He looked at me as though I was an older person and said, “A smart TV can do a lot of things.”

At this point, I felt that my question was smarter than his answer. I said, “What kind of smart things can it do?”

He said, “Well, for one, it has wireless capability, so you can access the Internet through your television.” That sounded nice, but I thought that’s why I have a laptop, a desktop, an iPad, and an iPhone.

Nevertheless, I was convinced that since I needed a new television, I should at least get a smart one. Now I am at home with a little bit of time set aside to get the TV out of the box and get it set up. The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was the base of the stand. That I recognized, because there was one just like it on the display model of the TV in the store.

I pulled the base of the stand out of the box and then noticed a bag with a black plastic piece with holes for screws. I assumed this was a part of the base, but I needed to know for sure so I went to the setup guide to locate information on how to put the stand together and found an array of topics:

“I have purchased a smart TV that is smarter than I am.”

Cannot connect to Network or Apps

No picture/sound or distorted picture

Poor picture quality

Your settings are lost after 30 minutes

Weak or no signal

Can’t see all Apps or Apps not working

These Top 6 Troubleshooting Tips are in two languages, English and Spanish, but there is nothing about how to put the stand together.

Where are my grandchildren when I need them? I can always count on my grandkids to solve my technology issues. It’s too late to call them; they’re in bed. They have school tomorrow, so I guess I’m on my own.

Wait a minute, here is a QR code that will take me to a site that has videos with all kinds of information for setting up the television. I go to my QR app; see I’m not totally ignorant about these things. Yes, I have a QR code app.

When I get to the site, there is a long list of videos. I find the one on setting up the TV out of the box. That’s it! That’s what I’ve been looking for. I watch the entire video, but there is nothing about assembling the stand for the television.

Now I know something for sure, and I’m embarrassed by this fact. I have purchased a smart TV that is smarter than I am. That is humiliating. Apparently, assembling the stand is so rudimentary that the manufacturer assumed anyone who was smart enough to purchase his TV would be smart enough to put the stand together.

Now, since I’m putting all of this in my Open Door, all of you know how uninformed I am about things like this. I’m one of those dads who stayed up half the night on Christmas Eve every year when our girls were small trying to figure out those crazy instructions: “Take screw ‘A’ and insert it into slot ‘B.’ Then attach side one to side two by tightening down on the screw. Next, take side three and attach to part ‘D’ using the special bolt ‘Z.’” Those were long, laborious nights!

What does all of this have to do with what we are about as ministers and laity serving the Lord through our local churches? Perhaps we need to be more aware of how our church might seem to someone who comes to church for the very first time. Every-thing is new. The language we speak is even different from what they encounter in their everyday world.

Most of us understand what we hear and what we experience in church because we have been in it a long time. It’s a good idea, from time to time, for you to examine the various systems in your church to make sure that your church is friendly to visitors who are seeking a personal relationship with the Lord, but have never experienced any of the church things that are so natural to us and so foreign to them.

By the way, I did get the stand put together and the TV works fine.