Monday, October 23, 2006

It's Times Like These...

...That I hate being a Christian!

That's it! I have had it! The retail market for furniture sucks. More poignantly, dealing with people who sell furniture sucks...It's been over 11 weeks since we have ordered our furniture and it still hasn't arrived.

I received a call from the manufacturer representative today. Apparently the retail store passed the buck. Since I was at work I let the phone go to voice mail. He leaves a message...It goes something like this...

"Good morning Adam. My name is [insert name]. I am a representative of [insert furniture company]. I understand that we have had a bit of a mix up in getting you your furniture. I just want to let you know that we are doing our best to get you your furniture by this coming Friday. We appreciate your business and are sorry for any inconvenience that we have caused. Please give me a call back so that I may discuss further details with you. Have a nice day and shalom to you too."

My response: "I can't believe that it is going to take 4 more days...Shalom too?"

I'd been caught. He found me out. I hate that...This guy is familiar with the meaning of the word shalom. This word means peace...But not just a shallow peace...It is the most deep peace that can only come from the rest of God. Just when I want to do nothing more than bellow at this guy for not giving satisfactory service and he pulls the "shalom card" on me. It's times like these that I hate being a Christian.

I know that's probably not the most popular thing to say and I am sure that my mom is shaking her head right now, but it's true. These are the hard times. I wanted to rip this guy a new one, but I knew the moment he said the words "shalom to you" this voice on the phone became an actual live person with feelings, dreams, hopes, and aspirations. Who knows, he might even have a wife and kids and a dog named scruffy. It made him tangible. Real and alive.

I didn't want him to be a person...I wanted him to be the lifeless voice on the phone from whoknowswhereville so that I wouldn't "feel" bad for laying into him, but he wasn't.

It's funny how God uses the frustrating times in life to humble us and remind us whose we are...

For instance...

That one time when you walk into Wendys only to realize that a bus full of touring seniors on a day trip to the cheesy Longaberger Basket plant in Ohio pulled in two minutes before you and the wait is going to be like 20 minutes plus and all you want is a freakn' 99 cent frosty!


You sit down to get a haircut and in the course of the conversation the lady asks you what you do for a living and you want to lie and say that you work at Chucky Cheese but you know you can't and you have to tell her that you work at a church but when it's all said and done it's the worst haircut you have ever recieved in your life but she already knows that you work at a church and it's time to tip her! (h/t Mustoe)

It's these moments that God calls us to rise above our fallen nature and use the grace that has been bestowed upon us to bestow on others. We're called to be a blessing right?

O.k. I know what your thinking. "Would he have acted differently if the mysterious voice on the other end wouldn't have picked up on the blessing of shalom?" Honestly, I don't know. I don't know how I would have responded. I hope that it would have been with honesty and integrity and that I would have been a good representation of how a Christian should act. In the end I don't know...Here's what I do know. I've learned a valuable lesson. Perhaps a lesson I should have learned a long time ago.

Hebrews 13:2 and 1 Corinthians 13:5

"God, help me to be a Christian even when it is inconvenient. Help me to love the unlovely. Help me to see all people as the Child of God that you have made them to be. Give me patience and grace."

Shalom be with you.

thanks for the shout-out. i feel loved!

i am definately with ya on this one. usually i get all psyched to reem some poor cingular dude only to call customer service and get all soft and squishy. oh well.

thats when I put on a little Ray Boltz and let it go!

...thank you....for giving to the Lord...Dun dun duuuuh..etc.
Ray Boltz, wow, there's a flashback...anyway, I am proud of you brother and I appreciate your integrity!
Yes, life can be frustrating. Perspective is important. At best you may get eight or ten years use out of your new furniture. The image you leave with the furniture people could last a lot longer, maybe even forever. Oh, and you want more patience? We all need more of that, but you realize that "tribulation worketh patience" (Romans 5:3). It seems like God already knows what you need 'cause He is letting the devil (or his demons) provide the stimulus.
Ephesians 6:12 - For we wrestle not against flesh and blood (read "furniture reps"), but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Adam, I wasn't shaking my head...I understand your frustrations. Trust me, I've walked in your shoes many times and have had to ask Jesus to forgive me for my attitude. I love you,

yeah i understand what you mean. for years i refused to have a "fish on my butt"(icythus on the back of car) because of the way I drove.

Yeah its true. but think of what the world would be like if everyone were cool to each other and didn't have to pull these kinds of tricks.
You have been SpitBoxed. Check out your article at

love you bro.
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