Sunday, 25 November 2012

The small miracle of extended warranties

Have you ever walked into a raging windstorm?

Swirling debris pelts you, and you close your mouth and even your eyes at times in defence. Step by step you go forward, but your one thought is, "When will this be over?"

This week was a bit like that.

Crisis after crisis (some of my own making, I admit) had me reeling and unprepared when the next one hit. Feeling an affinity with Job, I stumbled through each day, crying out to God and definitely not walking in the joy of the Lord.

In the middle of this week-I-want-to-erase, I washed my phone.

I blame distraction. While getting dressed in the early morning, I gathered together a basket of laundry. I love the "multi-tasking" feeling of accomplishment when my laundry is being washed while I am on the train going to work. Because the dress I was wearing had no pockets, I put my phone on the laundry basket, and set it on the landing. Bustling to make lunch, style my hair and get out the door, I was pleased to realize I had the two minutes necessary to run down and throw in the laundry. I left the house feeling accomplished.

As I boarded the train, I realized I'd forgotten my phone. Because it is my access to everyone and everything, I felt like my right arm was suddenly missing. When my friend got on the train, I used her phone to call my husband. A worm of fear had begun to crawl around my middle. "I'm pretty sure I left it on the counter, but just in case, can you check the washer, too. And phone me at work to let me know."

When the call came, I burst into tears.  Having to replace an expensive phone just before Christmas when things were already tight was going to kill me. Not replacing it wasn't an option. We'd just cut off our landline the month before and were now "cell only."

I pulled the file I had on the phone (which I hadn't opened since the day I filed it) and went to the store where I bought it. The news wasn't good. With 17 months left on the contract, it was going to be an expensive mistake. (In the spirit of true confessions, I have to tell you. This isn't the first time I've done this.  About three years ago, I did exactly the same thing with another phone.  Which is why I have a bruise on my head from pounding it against the wall. Figuratively.)

The salesman was flipping through my contract, when his head jerked. "Wait a minute. You've got the Apple extended warranty. You can go to their store and get a new phone--no questions asked."

Really? Really. I now have a brand new, not cracked (my other one slipped out of my pocket and had an unfortunate encounter with the pavement) iPhone, and the Christmas budget is intact. Extended warranties. Wow.

Can I get an extended warranty on my life? Could I hand over the stupid things I say or the unwise things I do, and have them go away? Be replaced with a godly attitude and wisdom?

Unfortunately, it's not immediate like my phone, but God does promise that He will work with me, if I ask Him to.

Prov. 15:1a "A soft answer turns away wrath."
Prov. 10:11 "The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life."
Prov. 12:18 "The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."
Prov. 31:26 "She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is in her tongue." (Oh virtuous woman, how I long to be like you!)
Eccl. 3:7 "There is a time to keep silent and a time to speak."

And finally--James 1:26 "Those who consider themselves religious and do not keep a tight reign on their tongues deceive themselves and their religion is worthless." (Ouch.)

Colossians 3:17 "Whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."

So, Lord, it's a new week. Remind me--constantly--that I am your child, and help me live each moment to please You.

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