The remote control to the satellite receiver, that is.  Properly I mean.  Sometimes you would have to walk across the room and get within 6 inches of the receiver for the channels to change.  SO FRUSTRATING!   I know…#firstworldproblems.  (I see that on twitter sometimes!)

took this photo in Hawaii in 2009

For more than a year, when using the remote control it would really be a problem to get the stations to change, to bring up the guide or look at the list of things recorded on the DVR.  As I said, you might have to walk across the room and get REALLY CLOSE to the receiver for the remote control to work!

New batteries didn’t fix the problem.  And I can’t tell you how many batteries we have gone through in the remote in the past 18-24 months!  

Telephone consultations with the customer service department didn’t fix the problem.  I have spent more than 45 minutes on the phone with the satellite company at least 3 times trying to correct this problem.  

About a month ago I called again and explained my troubles to the young man that answered the phone.  I explained that I have changed the batteries and done all other things ever suggested, resetting the receiver, making sure nothing is blocking the path between the receiver and the remote, etc.  This time the remote wasn’t working unless I got VERY close to the receiver.

Then he asked me one simple question, “Have you dusted the receiver lately.”

“Well, yes as a matter of fact I have, just yesterday.”  Whew…considering I hate to dust, I felt pretty good about that.

He said, “Not the top of the receiver, the front of the receiver.”

“Well, I guess I have.”

He said, “Well, would you take a damp cloth, not wet, just damp and just lightly wipe the front of the receiver, please.”

Seriously, what was THAT going to do!?!?  But he was SO polite!

So, I got a slightly damp paper towel and wiped the front of the receiver.  Went back across the room and tried the remote.


It wasn’t that I never dusted the receiver.  It wasn’t that the remote control needed batteries constantly. 

It was that I hadn’t dusted the RIGHT PART of the receiver.  The dust was obscuring something on the front panel of the receiver.  This dust prevented the signal being sent by the remote to the receiver from reaching the receiver and doing whatever it was I wanted done.  It wasn’t dust you could see, but it was still obstructing the signal.

I wonder…how much dust in my life prevents me from hearing or seeing what the Lord’s wants me to hear?  What dust in my life is obscuring his message to me?  What grace am I missing because I need to get the dust and cobwebs out of the way?

And you?  Is anything preventing you from receiving the signal?


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