Wednesday, August 15, 2007

it IS all about me

Just about everything in my life is about me. Making my life easier. More rewarding. Less complicated. Less mundane.

It's about speeding things up because I don't want to wait.

About cooking my hamburger medium-well, so I can have the maximum amount of satisfaction for the amount of money I am paying for it.

It's about consistently refilling my tea or water glass when it's nearly empty.

It's about TiVo-ing all my shows, so I don't have to watch commercials, which allows me to view an hour-long program in 45 minutes.

About not jumping through hoops to get a fair shake.

It's about the company or service provider I am patronizing actually meeting not only my needs but my wants with their product. And, when this doesn't happen, I'm left disappointed. Unfulfilled. Sometimes ticked. Sometimes in disbelief.

The other day, I went to a local department store to return/ exchange some shoes for my 3-year old son. They didn't have his size in the exact same style, so I selected another brand and style that was available in his size - and they were on sale for $17.99 - the same price paid for the original pair we were returning. Simple exchange, right? HA!

So, there I am at the "customer service" counter. I explain the deal to the lady, and she immediately says, "Well, that isn't an even exchange." Obviously puzzled, I replied, "well, these are the same price as the ones I am returning. Why wouldn't it be even?"

She proceeds to explain that exchanges are based on the ORIGINAL prices of the items. One item was originally priced at $28.00, and the other was originally priced at $29.99. So, even though they are both on sale for $17.99, I'm not getting out of there without coughing up some more cash.

To complicate matters more, the original pair had been paid with a 15% discount, plus it was a tax-free holiday. After some minor finagling, I only ended up having to pay tax on the purchase. To make a long story somewhat shorter, I ended up walking out of there 92 cents poorer than I walked in. Crazy.

In my life, these are the types of ridiculous transactions I desperately hope to avoid. I want to side-step the run-around and get to the point. I want to pay what I want to pay. But, it doesn't always turn out that way. And, in the end, I have less energy, less patience, and higher blood pressure when these things happen.

I guess that's why Jesus' teachings on humility are still so revolutionary today. Because we are always looking through "consumer lenses," we have the expectation built in - even with people - that we come first. Jesus said that the first (in heaven) will be the last (on earth). That means when we take on an attitude of service and humility towards others (even when they frustrate you to no end), we build up treasure in heaven.

Tough, isn't it? It certainly is for me. But, no matter how satisfied I want to be right here, right now - I know my eternal rewards will far exceed my earthly ones...if I can remember is ISN'T all about me!

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