Tuesday, June 2, 2009

$158 in roaming charges and the misery of being powerless!

You can only imagine my husband’s perplexity and irritation when he opened our Sprint bill on Saturday and saw $158 in roaming charges for MY phone! Right away, I called Sprint and talked with a not-so-accommodating supervisor, for over an hour, who explained to me that I should have known to change my new phone from an “automatic” to “Sprint-only” setting so that when I was out of range, my phone would not automatically find another service and then charge me for roaming minutes. You can now only imagine my perplexity and irritation!

The amount of emotional energy I spent on this altercation is unbelievable. Yes, I do believe this is unfair and unreasonable. But why do situations like these get under my skin so much? Why do they raise my ire and incite such turbulent emotions?

For me, it has a lot to do with feeling powerless. I vehemently dislike engagements where I feel as though I have no choice, no power, and no alternative to protect my personal rights. It’s miserable to be reduced to compliance because I have no other alternative. I feel bitter, like losing to someone who cheats.

Yet, as I have wrestled through the emotional duress of this dispute—and it’s still not over, I’m heading to a Sprint store today to have a technician look at my phone to see if it is faulty—I have concluded that the only healthy path to take is to surrender. I sense the Spirit reminding me that I need to accept the reality that life isn’t always fair. I will face dilemmas when I have no voice or exercise of power that can change my circumstances.

In order to submit to this potentially unpleasant outcome, I need a fresh infusion of grace. I know that it is in these times, using this very stuff, that God forms my character and helps me become like Jesus. It also helps to step back and see how small and incidental this issue is in relationship to the weightier matters of life. The truth is, it really doesn’t matter all that much.

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