These past few weeks have been plagued by a common theme that I have started to refer to as "You have GOT to be flippin' kidding me!!' Murphy's Law is reigning supreme here at the Kingsbury household. Here's a recap: (And no...I am not making this up). A few weeks ago, a kid accidentally backed into my (first new) car in the parking lot as my family and I looked on helplessly. His woofers or tweeters or subzeros or whatever you call them, were cranked up to the max and he couldn't hear us shouting for him to stop. So...off I went to the auto body shop to get my car fixed. Then, my microwave started acting up. Soon thereafter, the refrigerator started leaking water out of the ice maker and into the freezer compartment creating a beautiful winter wonderland of giant icicles amid the fishsticks and Ore-Ida potatoes and whatnot. Two words: Major. Mess.
Is that all? Oh, noooo. I'm just getting warmed up, here. In the midst of it all I have been serving frequently on the worship team which means a lot of nights away from home. I'm also in the middle of planning a huge party for the beginning of November. So what happens next? The dishwasher started spitting little rust particles all over the clean dishes. Not good. Then the microwave finally bit the dust and that wouldn't be so bad if it were not permanently connected to the oven requiring both items to be replaced. Ugh! A few days later, we heard a loud bang coming from the laundry room and water had flooded the floor. Can ya belieeeve it? Just crazy. And overwhelming. And EXPENSIVE.
But that's not all, folks. Because I haven't shared with you the completely insane experience of venturing out into the wild and wonderful world of retail to find replacements for our broken appliances. I'm such a noodle-head, I actually thought this would be fun. Well, I was wrong. It has been anything but fun. I won't bore you with the details but I will say that this shopping expedition has been an epic comedy of errors from day one...but believe me, I'm not laughing.
This leads me to the subject of service and the miserable lack thereof in many businesses and establishments I have been dealing with lately. Many people seem to have zero concern about their customers and will only do the bare minimum required in order to 'seal the deal.' I have been lied to, talked down to, misled, and ignored by very nearly everyone I have dealt with. I was frustrated and discouraged and just about out of Christian patience...when along came Dan. My lifeline in a sea of aggravation. He is the appliance manager at a major appliance dealer and he has restored my faith that there are those (though they are few and far between) who will actually go out of their way to do what they are supposed to do in the first place. Namely, to serve their customers. I am grateful to Dan and people like him. He was in the middle of a family crisis (his daughter and son-in-law were in a bad accident) but still felt the responsibility to finish what he began when he returned to work. Admirable, to say the least.
Service. This subject has been popping up quite often in the last few weeks. Then, yesterday, I was led to examine the word in a different light. David and I have been reading A Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and it is taking a long time because we made an agreement that we would read each chapter and then wait for the other before proceeding. David is not as into reading as I am which explains why it's taking so long. Anyway, God's timing is perfect because the chapter I turned to yesterday was all about service. Christian service. With all of the complaining about service I've been doing lately...it made me squirm a little, and I'll tell you why.
I love serving others. I volunteer at my kids schools and I volunteer at church...I even love serving my family. But lately...I'm going to be honest, here...I've been going a bit overboard in the service department. With everything else that has been going on, I have been allowing myself to get exasperated by the things I have committed myself to doing in the next few weeks. I have insisted on trying to do everything perfectly and have not taken a pause to catch my breath. Because of this I have become tired and overwhelmed and allowed myself to get a little huffy and to feel put upon. That's dangerous territory, folks because I must not lose sight of the fact that I am in service not for myself, not for the schools, not for other people but for God, Himself. God owns it all. Therefore, as the song says, I should 'do every little thing for the glory of the one who made me' and not get tied up worrying about little details and things that will make me look good. Should I try to do things well? Of course. Should I concern myself with being on time? Sure, that's important, too. But I believe God is more interested in our heart and our intentions than He is in the details and execution of what we do. I forget that sometimes and needed to be reminded of why I am doing what I'm doing in the first place. Do you need reminding, too? Well, then consider it done! :0)
So, after reading these chapters on service I feel God has given me a little spiritual fanny-smack and I am re-focused on the upcoming challenges I'm facing. I am feeling more joy in the process and have thrown off the garment of indignation and am putting on the garment of gratitude and praise. Being able to serve others is a gift. Not a liability or a burden. Mission accomplished. Attitude adjustment complete. Whew!
To conclude, I will give you the good news first. My car was fixed and the whole thing was covered by insurance. Jimmy's Service King in Baytown does awesome work and they really, genuinely care about their customers. They even have this great guy on the premises from the rental car company. His name is Clint. He is another shining star I have come across lately. I found a body shop I can trust and that's a good thing because a week after I got hit, David's car got backed into in a parking lot as, once again, he stood by helplessly unable to prevent the accident. But the story doesn't end there. On Monday, I backed into my housekeeper's car and messed up both of our cars. Yes, again. More EXPENSIVENESS. *Sigh* So...Black Beauty is back in the shop and Clint had another opportunity to wow me with his customer service awesomeness. My faith is somewhat restored. My car, (and myself for that matter) are still in the restoration process. Have a wonderful weekend, my friends.