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Friday, January 27, 2012

AT&T and the Bible


Living in the modern world exacts a certain price on all of us.  One of the ways this becomes evident is whenI am trying to reconcile and pay bills.  In the push and shove of daily toil, it is not always easy to review every bill, looking for errors and inexactitudes.  However, in a perfect world, I would prefer to rectify all the service fees for cell phones, landlines, cable, gas, electric and don’t get me started on medical bills.  What I can say is that I do my best.  Nary a month goes by that I do not find myself spending considerable time chasing down information, a person, or an answer before I am willing to authorize payment.  I do believe there is a universality to this challenging aspect of fiscal responsibility.  My skirmish today had to do with unsolicited and unwanted services appearing on my mobile phone carrier’s bill.  For “fun” I set my stop watch when I called.  The conversation terminated with only three holds and two transfers in a matter of "only" 42 minutes and one second.  And, yes, my question was resolved satisfactorily.  
During the long periods of silence, I researched a slew of biblical references germaine to managing anger.  I thought it would be a reasonable way to keep calm.  I have been known to become upset at wasting time on hold when so often I  have other things I would prefer to dot.  Out of the eight biblical references I read might be helpful, only three had relevance to me.
Thesel verses are drawn from the New International Version of the Bible.
An oldie but goodie that has relevance even outside of wedding ceremonies is 
1 Corinthians 12:4-7    4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
A phrase from one verse gave me cause to pause and reflect. 
 Luke 7:47-48....he who is forgiven little, loves little.
There can be no disputing the wisdom here.
Ephesians 4:31-32   Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other.
While I completed this task, I noticed I didn’t get frustrated as much as I might have typically.  Also, I found myself being calmer and more understanding of the various customer service representatives with whom I spoke; my voice did not have the sharp tone of indignation that sometimes creeps in when a simple call goes on longer than I consider reasonable.  
Two things are apparent to me.  First, distraction is an effective way to remain more patient when dealing with a representative of a large, unwieldy bureaucracy.  Second, the Bible has, hidden in it like gems in a mine, relevant pointers for living in today’s world.  If I could make just these two observations over the course of 42 minutes and one second AND resolve my phone bill, it was time well-spent.

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