To err is human…to not pitch a fit – divine!
After all my years on this earth, you would think that I would already know and accept that people do, and will continue to:
- Mess up fast food orders
- Keep me waiting forever for “the next available customer representative”
- Misquote prices
- Almost hit me on the freeway
Oh, and did I say
Mess up fast food orders…(AGAIN)?!
…and the list goes on…
Well, my friend and co-worker Marilyn has her own story to add to this list. It involved a clumsy manicurist and a bottle of neon nail polish. Add a little gravity to the mix and things could get interesting…and did! Need I say more? She told us that just as she took her seat, the girl swung around and knocked the bottle through the air. This of course, caused it to flip around and gain speed. When it finally hit the ground, it exploded like fireworks on the floor. In a flash, Marilyn’s purse was covered by a brilliant starburst of hot pink awesomeness! It must have been spectacular!
Ok, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic. Maybe it didn’t shatter into a million pieces. But still, it hit her purse. Then they ruined it by trying to clean it up with nail polish remover.*
She said she had a choice to make – would she get snooty and mad? Would she insist on some kind of amends? Nope, she thought about it, but took the high road instead. She accepted the poor lady’s apology with grace and an “aw, fahgget-abbot-it” shrug, and in doing so, she knew that this was a test of her patience and humility.
I have to admit, ya’ll. This is not an easy area for me! Ask my family about the pizza place (no names mentioned here) that simply could not get my order right. I don’t even remember the occasion, just that I wasted a lot of time on the phone with them when I could have chosen to let it go. First they got lost, then they brought the wrong order. After a while, it wasn’t about the pizza anymore. It was about my own vendetta. How is it that I can usually be pretty even-tempered, but when I see incompetence I suddenly turn into the devil? How many times have I myself gotten off the hook? Good questions to ask. Maybe things like this happen to me often because I may need to learn a few things here.
As for Marilyn, it turns out that the salon ended up surprising her by giving her a brand new purse, so much nicer than one she would have picked out herself! And would you believe that she almost bought one earlier that same day, but ran out of time and didn’t?
Our story here really isn’t just about polish or paint or not crying when they spill. It’s not about believing we necessarily get material rewards for obedience either. I don’t believe God is obligated to give us anything, but its sure sweet when He does. It gives us even more reason to be grateful, as if His salvation wasn’t enough. 🙂
Given this perspective, we can see that there is peace in obeying God’s still, small voice, knowing that He works through the messes of our lives to teach and guide us, all the while bringing glory to Himself.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing ; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world. (Phil. 2:14-15)
*Oh, and a fashion tip for the ladies: Never use nail polish remover on pleather!
Can anyone relate to this with their own consumer “challenges” (think slow waitress, the cell phone company, IT help or whoever … you can fill in your own blank _________________). Any success stories…or maybe not so much? Come on, we’re all here to encourage!