Saturday, September 10, 2011
The business where I work is a parts and warranty company for a few high end European appliance brands. On the warranty end this means a good chunk of my day is spent on the phone with wealthy individuals who have a broken down appliance that needs repair. These are not always happy conversations. And I actually enjoy my role of showing genuine concern and doing my best to get them taken care of quickly and professionally. But every so often there are conversations that just irk me. Someone will call in with an over-inflated sense of entitlement about a problem that is truly insignificant like a broken bracket or a missing screw and they will be yelling and going on as if the sky is falling.
A few weeks ago I had a call like this. I can't remember what the exact issue was. But I do remember that on that same day I had been reading up on what was going on with the drought and famine in Africa. Kevin and I have a sponser child in Ethiopia and my heart was wondering if he was being affected at all. And as I hung up the phone from this irrate customer, I just felt angry that someone in a fancy high rise condo could feel so upset about a broken appliance while there are thousands of people in desperate need of water and food right now.
The next morning I was going through my normal morning routine, which includes a short bike ride on our stationary exercise bike. Lately the bike has been developing a loud squeaking noise that I cannot seem to get rid of with any amount of tightening. Perhaps I need to oil it. Regardless, on this morning, I was getting very annoyed at this squeak, even to the point where I was going to stop biking for the day. But suddenly I realized I was being just like that customer on the phone. I have a home, a job, more than enough food, running water, a closet full of clothes - and a squeak in my bike is making me this upset. That is not who I want to be. I stopped biking, thanked God through tears for the blessings I enjoy each day, and prayed for Africa. I haven't fixed the squeak yet, but when it starts up when I bike each day, it reminds me to pray. I haven't figured out what else I could do to help, but to start, I don't want to have an attitude of entitlement or a presumption that I deserve the safe and healthy life I have. Everything I have is a gift from God and I need to be open and obedient to joyfully give of it to those in need. Care for the poor, the orphans, the widow.