Yesterday wasn’t one of my better days. Oh, I felt fine physically but I seemed to go from one problem to another without so much as some time to recover from the last fiasco. Admittedly, while none of these individual issues might ruin my day, they had a cumulative effect that seemed to defy my attempts to find peace. I hate it when that happens.
One of the most irritating things that happened has to do with a local florist shop. Almost two years ago, we purchased a Christmas tree at the end of the season on Dec. 24th. We didn’t put it up until last year, the week that Janet broke her shoulder. It is a pretty tree and just what we wanted in our lower level. We packed it away and brought it out this year to decorate for the season. Everything worked fine, for ten minutes or so and I then turned it off. However, the next time I turned on the switch, nothing… I mean nothing at all.
I called the place we bought the tree and was promptly told that there was no guarantee and if I wanted any assistance, I would have to contact the manufacturer. This kind of irked me – the instructions in the box clearly stated that there was a two year guarantee. However, the shop went on to tell me that they had trouble with that line of trees and no longer carried them. Not their problem… So I was on my own, with a phone number that had a full voicemail box and for all intents and purposes, a wonderful tree that didn’t light. I will spare you most of the details and all that I went through, save one important tidbit.
The manager of the shop told me that I should know that lights on trees don’t work – after all, that’s what Christmas is all about – lights that don’t work – and that I was being unrealistic if I thought it was about anything else. Now, those are fighting words. I never considered that trees and lights were at the core of the Christmas celebration. But, apparently, that is how this person saw one of the most important days in the Christian calendar.
He suggested that I could just string some lights on the tree and not worry about the ones that didn’t light. Sorry, not our style… that’s not how we roll…. Then, I was reminded that the tree had been on the display floor (it was the last one) and what did I expect? After all, it was on from Nov. 1st through Christmas Eve without being turned off… (now they tell me that little piece of info). I really felt kind of misled in the entire purchase experience. By the way, the shop has had our floral business since 1982 – that’s more that 35 years now.
How sad to think that joy is measured by how many lights work. But it didn’t help my frustration all that much as I was still annoyed that we paid good money for a tree that failed and neither the shop nor the distributor was about to do anything about it. When I finally received a response from the company representing the manufacturer, I was told there was nothing they would do, either. After all, they didn’t deal directly with the public and on top of that, the line of trees had been unreliable and so the distributor stopped handling the line. The manufacturer eventually went out of business – all the two year warranties were null and void. Somehow, it didn’t surprise me.
The last chapter of this story has not yet been written. To be fair, the lady from the distributor called me yesterday and let me know that she would try to find a spare set of parts for the tree. Then she emailed me later in the day and thought they may have found what they were looking for. From what I understand, they will send the package and then I can determine whether the tree can be fixed. If not, we are out of luck – period… So late next week, we may have good news – hopefully so!
Mind you, that was just one of the things that happened. There was the mixup at the car dealership; they forgot to order the new brakes for one of our vehicles and it will be next week before the parts arrive. Then they delivered my car back with a small dent in the front fender that looks like somebody dropped a tool on it (they will fix it when they do the brakes). And there was the call from a credit card company letting us know that they didn’t receive our last payment (apparently it never arrived at their processing center, they claim) and they were charging us a late fee. We ended up having to place the payment on a debit card and the woman on the line was one of the most obnoxious people Janet and I have ever encountered. At least, she finally waived the $27 late fee for Janet.
When you consider all the things happening in the world, these issues seem trivial. But for some reason, they seemed to pile up yesterday. And that brings us to the verse for tonight. The prophet Isaiah had some words for God’s people on this subject. He told them, in Isaiah 32:18, “My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.” I want some of that!
My encouragement tonight is that God wants us to enjoy peace and have rest. Sometimes, in our humanness, those things are elusive. My prayer is that as we enter the Christmas season we will redouble our efforts to let go and enjoy God’s peace and rest at this most important time of the year. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…