I was exhausted.
I hadn’t had much sleep the night before…and that was just the night before. The last several weeks had rolled one into the next without me ever getting a break that felt like a break.
So…needless to say, it felt good to be headed home with something of an evening left. I planned and re-planned what I would do with it several times. And of course, every plan ended with: go to bed early.
I needed rest. Not just physical rest…but sleep would be a good start.
I did a few things on the way in—take out the trash, grab the mail, let my dog out, and take a deep breath. It felt so good to be home. In a quiet house. With a quiet evening in front of me.
But as I opened one of the letters I found in the mail—from my mortgage company—I felt my blood boil. I have only had this mortgage for about six months and it has already given me a lifetime of grief. Just for example, in February, they sent me a letter saying my monthly payment would go up by $600 a month. $600!
I have called the company multiple times and spent a considerable amount of my life listening to their hold music. The last time, I had been assured they would adjust back the payment and all I needed to do was wait for confirmation in the mail. That’s what I was expecting this letter to be.
Instead, it was a delinquent notice.
A delinquent notice was especially maddening because: 1. The customer service rep had told me that I did not have to pay until we got it all straightened out; and 2. I had gone ahead and paid anyway.
And this was the thanks I got: A delinquent notice.
I waiting through the first twenty minutes of music. When a rep finally came on the phone, she transferred me to someone else. Another twenty-five minutes of waiting.
Meanwhile, while my evening disappeared, so was my patience. When the next poor soul came on the phone, I had had it. My weary brain just didn’t care.
I started at the beginning and gave her the blow by blow of how this happened and how many times I had been assured that this was all straightened out. How I had made the payment. Then been told they wouldn’t accept it. Then been told that they would. Then been told that they had…and now this notice…the longer I talked, the madder I became until I am sure I fulfilled every stereotype that customer service reps in India have of rude Americans.
She put me on hold.
I wanted to throw my phone in the bath tub.
When she finally came back, she was again apologetic, but she explained that they wouldn’t accept the payment because it was $92 short. There was no way to dispute this since I have no idea what my payment should be since I hadn’t received the letter they would supposedly send to tell me what my new payment should be. But it was important to me that I not be delinquent.
My coveted evening was gone. I was deliriously tired, so, in a tone that would remove all doubt about whether or not I was happy with their services, I said I would pay the $92 dollars over the phone and be done with it.
She said that was fine and proceeded to take my bank routing number and account number.
As I read the routing number, she stopped me to clarify, “so this bank is America’s Christian Credit Union?”
I was so embarrassed.
Regardless of how incompetent this company was, I regretted that I had represented Christ and Christians with this attitude.
Consider the level of abuse that Jesus took. Meekly. Quietly. Without fighting back.
And here I was…upset with the poor little girl in India trying to help me get my tangled mortgage straightened out.
Yes. I said finally. That’s the one.
I attempted an apology to her, but hung up the phone ashamed. The situation was extremely frustrating, but I knew Christ would not have treated her that way.
As I crawled into bed, my adrenaline still pumping from my anger, and my shame still flowing from my sin, I thought about the words of Christ:
“Come to me all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me. For I am meek, and lowly in heart. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Jesus doesn’t promise us no work. No labor. No yoke.
Life in Christ is not an extended vacation. It’s not a day at the fair.
But what struck me was that the antidote to weariness was a Christ-like heart—one that is meek and lowly.
This is profound.
How much of our weariness is from our own anger? From fighting for our own way? From trying to change circumstances that we can’t change? From frustration with people who don’t do what we want them to?
How much of our burden is trying to meet the many demands of pride? Of trying to live up to the empty shadow she casts of life as we think it should look?
Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your soul.
Rest. For. Your. Soul.
I don’t think it’s coincidence that I keep running into that passage—morning reading, a friend’s wall, an index card that surfaced where I had jotted it years ago. There’s a lesson for me in it.
And I don’t think it’s coincidence that April 28, seven days after my mortgage company promised me I would get a letter, I did. That is, I got not one, but four letters. One said I owed $92. One said I owed $600. One said I owed $1700. And one said I owed $2700.
I laughed. I called them. I waited on hold.
After thirty minutes of waiting, I was informed I have actually overpaid and have a credit. They apologized for my four letters and said they are dealing with a computer glitch.
I may have to sell my house to get away from these people, but I was kind on the phone and dealing with it took considerably less energy than the last phone call (which had left me completely spent).
Maybe they will get themselves straightened out before they have a class action law suit on their hands. And maybe I will learn the secret to rest for the soul.
Neither are terribly likely, but I’ve come to appreciate the progression:
Come to me—you who are weary; Learn of me—for I am meek; And you will find rest for your soul.