Cranky Christmas Love

I checked my e-mail when I woke up this morning and found that an order I had placed last week was canceled because the items were no longer in stock.  I then had to hop on the phone and after 25 minutes of placing a new order was told they were not going to give me some of the "cash" they owed me because the coupon had expired.  I explained it was not my fault because they had canceled the order I had placed while the coupon was active.  By this time frustration had begun to mount inside me - it is early morning, the person on the other end of the line barely speaks English, this is not what I wanted to do with my morning I wanted to blog and spend time with God, it was only $3.60 but it is the principle of the thing - all these thoughts added together and resulted in crankiness towards the person on the other side of the phone.

While I was on hold waiting to speak to a manager, the Holy Spirit was quietly conversing with me.  He reminded me that even while I was on the phone I was spending time with Him and He also reminded me of some of the things I read in The Greatest Thing in the World, things about the development of character.   God works and moves in the dailyness of life and not just when I am in "worship and quiet time" with Him:

Why should God have provided
that so many hours of every
day should be occupied with work? 
It is because work makes men. 

 Character is the music of the soul, and is developed by exercise. 

Active use of the power entrusted
to us is one of the chief
means which God employs
for producing the Christian graces.

In the end, it all worked out, I got my $3.60 back, and I didn't even have to talk to the manager about it. But through it all, I was also reminded of the opportunities God has given me to show His love to other people and not be so American about my rights to good service but to care more about the person serving me and remembering that they have 8 hours to work with cranky housewives who are trying to share the "Christmas spirit" by purchasing items on-line.  Perhaps, I can and should pause and spread the fragrance of Christ through love by being patient, kind and understanding...

Do we carry about with us the thought of
God wherever we go?  If not,
we have missed the greatest part of life.

I realized that being on the phone wasn't just a waste of time (which is what I thought) but rather a chance to feel God's refining fire at work in my heart, teaching me how to love when it was the very last thing I wanted to do.  So once again I am reminded, challenged, encouraged that "in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28)."

Which end of the continuum do I want those that interact with me to associate with Christmas - crankiness or love? 

In Christ,

PS The quotes in italics are from The Greatest Thing in the World.

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