Forget diamonds or pearls, my favorite "bling-bling" stores are Best Buy and Cincinnati Bell Wireless! Hmmmmmmm.... smell the fire wire.... hear the ringing of new phones... feel vibrations of gigabytes working... see the flat screens... taste the, er, never mind... nothing to taste in the electronics store! But, you see what I mean... I'll take a 17" Dell laptop over a new bracelet any day! Give me a flat screen TV over a ruby ring in minute! Unroll me a 10" USB cable instead of a 14" gold chain any day of the week!
So when we ventured into the phone store, I was giddy with excitement - I could upgrade from the simple flippy/camera phone to something with some extra bells and whistles. After lots of hemming and hawing and ooh-ing and ahh-ing, I settled on the Blackberry Pearl 8100 in dark gray and silver. AHHHHHHHHHHHH... It was supposed to sync all of my contacts (complete addresses, phone numbers, and email addys) as well as sync my calendar, tasks, and a memo pad with Microsoft Outlook. Even though I use Incredimail for my email program (I want the fun stationery and smileys in all of my emails), I was willing to type in the details of every person I've ever met into Outlook just to have my own custom "white pages" at my fingertips!
Day 1 - Unwrap phone. Immediately email the picture I want as the screen background to my phone. Attempt to email the Buffy The Vampire Slayer theme to set as my ringtone. That part doesn't work. Install software on my computer. Type in nearly 200 contacts into Outlook.
Day 2 - Buy mini SD card for holding photos and ringtones. Load said "stuff" onto the card. Transfer it to the phone. Set ringtone (Yeah... Buffy!!). Try to sync Outlook. Contacts show up but incomplete. Try a multitude of syncing options. Upgrade software via website. Makes it worse - now contacts are showing up as first names only and it's syncing from Outlook Express instead of Outlook. 4 hours later, I'm no closer to an answer. I'll try again tomorrow.
Day 3 - Try to sync Outlook again. Join four different Blackberry forums to gain an answer. Post queries on eBay Techie thread. Uninstall software and reinstall it. Outlook stops being an option on the Blackberry desktop manager at all. Syncing through a .CSV file only causes more problems. Send off aggravated email to the dude who sold us the phone asking for help (no reply...ever, of course). Contemplate tossing phone out the window and writing all of my contacts down on notebook paper. Pray for help. Go to bed.
Day 4 - Deep breath. Start over. Completely remove any software, program, or file with the name "BLACKBERRY" associated with it from my computer. Insert disk. Re-install. Try again. Somehow, a whole new screen appears with lots of syncing options (I swear - I NEVER saw this over the past four days!) - including Microsoft Outlook. Tentatively, holding my breath, I press sync. I pick up my phone, click on "Contacts," and view the results... IT WORKED! WHOO-HOO!!
Names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails are all there! Phone rings the Buffy theme when someone calls me! Background says "MAGS" (so there's no mistaking that it's MY phone!).
And I'm reminded of a quote I once saw by Calvin Coolidge:
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”
God tells us to Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4 NIV)
I'm not sure I felt "joyful" as I was struggling to fix my techie-issue. But, I can say that I felt an immense feeling of satisfaction (ok...it was more of a gloating "I BEAT YOU, BLACKBERRY!") at solving this problem without hiring an expert...! While I would have preferred it to work properly the first day, sometimes the fruit of our efforts is all the sweeter when we have to work for it. God didn't drop a boat down to Noah - he told him to build it himself! Likewise, when we put in some extra sweat (and sometimes tears!), we can accomplish great things - and when we include God in our efforts... those great things become miraculous.
In April, our church, along with another church, built two house frames for Habitat for Humanity. A couple hundred volunteers of all ages came and helped build the walls that would frame two four-bedroom houses for two needy families. The effort was immense - but the rewards were greater. The planning started months before. Even our Children's Ministry got involved with their Sunday offerings (which yielded enough money to build more than 2 walls!). The result was two fully-framed homes ready to be transported to their sites!
God will reward your persistence... your job is to never give up!