A Pet Dislike

13/06/2014 17:24
May I make a confession? Although I love God, I love people, I love God’s world and I love this journey we called life…. there’s an entity that I sometimes struggle with. It makes me tear my hair out on occasion. I get irritated by the way it operates. I wish it worked differently. I’d welcome changes on its face. I prefer life to be without it. Have I piqued your curiosity sufficiently?
My pet dislike is….. my Pet dislike is…. my Pet Dislike is…. my PET DISLIKE is…. (Drum roll please)…. GMAIL! Gmail and I are rarely on the best of terms. Thankfully, my regular mail is not on gmail. Gmail just acts as my temporary email account when I am travelling or when spending copious times in bed (as it happened after my two operations). It’s an address I can hand out to anyone and everyone safely. It’s also the right place to receive all my junk emails. Earlier this year, I was forced to use mainly Gmail for all my interactions with the outside world as I was in bed 95% of the time.
Unfortunately, I have often grinded my teeth over its frustrating set up and its annoying ways. I can see all you Gmail fans raising your eyebrows at my unbecoming language about such a good and useful commodity. So let me hasten to explain why I feel so strongly:
  1. Gmail bunches up emails together
  2. I can’t find messages easily
  3. And so I often miss replying them
  4. If I delete one from one folder – it removes every occurrence of it from all folders
  5. The layout looks messy and complicated compared to my trusted Outlook
Now that I have blown off steam, I shall make confession number 2. Despite my frustrations with Gmail, – there was this one time when it brought me deep blessing. Yes, my Pet Dislike came up trumps for me earlier in the year. And I am the first to admit it. On the 5th of March 2014 – my special friend Leanne passed away very suddenly. Leanne was my first Australian friend. We shared a deep connection and bond. When Leanne died so unexpectedly, I grieved long and hard. I found myself hunting all over my gmail folders for our conversations. There was something positive. I’d been spending weeks in bed after my operation, so having had time for it, Leanne and I had enjoyed a prolific email correspondence in the 6 weeks leading up to her death. I was so glad about that!
If I’d been using my Outlook account though, I’d have deleted all her letters and thus lost all those conversations. But my Pet Dislike did me proud. I found many lengthy deep conversations with Leanne in my Gmail folders. I was able to retrieve them all. They gave me a great deal of comfort. All the threads appeared in sequence, so it was as if she was chatting with me. They brought her closer to me. I guzzled them thirstily.
I was able to grieve. I was able to weep. I was able to even laugh because Leanne often made me laugh. Yes, I was deeply grateful to Gmail for connecting me to Leanne even after her death. Gmail helped me heal. Thanks Gmail!
You know, it taught me that often the things we dislike in life can bring unexpected blessing. People who make my life difficult help me see myself clearer. They force me to take stock of myself and to learn fresh lessons. They teach me how not to behave. Difficult times propel me forward into the arms of God. Facets of life I don’t enjoy help me enjoy deeply the things that do. Yes, even dislikes have their place in life, don’t they?
If not for an experience with a night time mosquito I wouldn’t realise that a normal night without one buzzing in my ear is a blessing. If not for people, places and experiences that are tough to handle – I might not appreciate the ‘normal’ great life I enjoy. More importantly I may not grow in character. If not for the hard times in my life I may also not have drawn so close to God.
Do you have a Pet Dislike? Is there a person in your life who seems to have been sent to torment you? Is there a job you hate doing? Is there a facet of your life that irritates you?  I wonder if your Nemesis too would turn up trumps one day. I’m always encouraged that God uses the difficulties in my life to bless me in fresh amazing ways. May He bless you too with fresh discoveries from your own Pet Dislike.
Gmail did something right after all. Thank you Lord for Gmail!
Thank you Lord for the little things and big things that make my life difficult.

Through them I grow.


Through them I learn life’s lessons.


Through them I find Your Grace and Help in time of need.


Through them I've discovered you as my Deepest Treasure.

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18