Where am I in line with God?

Everyday we are in some sort of line. When we commute to work we sit in lines of never ending traffic. We queue up to buy our first, or second cup of coffee. And, if you have been to a sporting event, concert or your kid’s school play, there is inevitably a line for the bathroom. Our society is ruled by fake velvet ropes that traverse us back and forth until we reach some destination.

So, do you think you’re judged by where you are in line?

Where are you in GOD's line?
Where are you in GOD’s line?

I guess it depends on what you’re doing, where you are in the line, and why you are there in the first place. Also, should we expect something for our patience, or should we be willing to give something once we reach the end of a line?

Matthew talks about this a little, when he relates a parable by Jesus. In essence, a vineyard owner hires people throughout the day to work in his fields for a day’s wage. At the end of the workday, he pays the workers that he hired last, first…and at the same wage as the workers that have been toiling all day in his field. They are lined up and told that the last will go first and the first will go last. (Matthew 20:1-16)

Can you imagine what the guy at the end of the line, who had been breaking his back in the hot sun all day, thought about this arrangement? I can.

Can you also imagine what the first guy was thinking? I can too.

What about the guy in the middle? Is he just happy to be there, and wants the guy behind him to pipe down? I don’t know?

What I do know is that, after tossing this scripture around at our bible study this morning, it really got me thinking about where I was in God’s line.

Am I last? Am I in the middle? What do I have to do to move up or down in the line? I really don’t know where I am in His line. These questions concerned me as I sat in a line of traffic.

And then, as I tried to put myself in the minds of all the characters of this parable, it hit me. This ‘daily wage’ that the workers were waiting on was not money, or things, or cups of coffee. It was God’s grace.

I had missed it at first, but God’s grace is central to my beliefs and my worship; and that was the missing piece. Here it is.

God’s grace, or ‘daily wage’, is given through worship, or a ‘day’s work’.

Every Sunday, I kneel with my fellow Christians, hold out my hands and receive the Sacraments of Christ. And you know what, we’re in a line…not a line of depth and length, but a line of equality. We are left to right and right to left, all receiving the same ‘day’s wage’ of Christ’s sacrifice for us.

Christ has already waited in the line for us. His line was a means to an end. His line showed us the way. Like we Christian’s stretch out along the altar rail, so did Christ stretch out his arms and accept us through His actions.

I challenge you to read that scripture today, or tonight and ask yourself some of the same questions. See what you come up with.

So, back to my original concern…where am I in line with God?

Thanks to Christ, I think I am in front, with you, and everyone else. Not bad for a ‘day’s work.’

Peace,

Allen

G. Allen Mercer is an author with a ‘heart on fire’ to write about God’s grace in a factual and fiction genre.

Learn more at:

www.GAllenMercer.com

www.facebook.com/GAllenMercer (Please LIKE)

www.amazon.com/dp/B00IDL4KQ8

Customer Service is Slang for…

So, a priest, a race-car driver and a customer service representative all die in the same bus crash. They’re all standing at the gates of Heaven, waiting to talk to St. Peter, when the Priest strikes up a conversation with the racecar driver and the customer service rep.

God and Customer Service
God and Customer Service

…Ahhh, who am I kidding? This joke isn’t real! No one actually thinks the customer service rep is going to make it to Heaven?

Actually, yea, I do.

I know that these people endure the brunt of our frustrations in their profession. And, I know that, for the most part, they seem to take it in stride. Think about this. They have no idea why your boss chewed you out today, why one of the kids threw up in the back seat on the way home from school, and why your spouse decided that tonight, of all nights, they were going to work late!

For the most part, customer service reps (CSRs for short) are answering the phone hoping to talk to a sweet grandma who wants to share her recipe for chocolate cake made out of sugar…and then topped with more sugar, which is coated in a layer of melt in your mouth, warm chocolate. Yummm…. Don’t we all want that call?

Instead, they get us. They get angry, kid puked in my purse, dog chewed my original foam 1991 Braves Tomahawk, why in the world is my cable TV gone out again…call.

Here is the funny thing about all of this, somewhere between chocolate and a foam filled Fido, there is God.

“What?” You are probably thinking? “Mercer, you’re out of your mind! This was such a good, sarcastic, chocolate filled blog, and then you had to go and bring God into it! You might’ve just as easily made a Star Wars pun instead!”

Well, you might think this, but let me tell you how I see it.

CSRs go into this job for a few reasons:

  1. They need a job, and who in their right mind would want to take a telephone job where people are inclined to yell at you?
  2. They have some sick sense of power and feel that they can see eye to eye with the Gatekeeper from Ghost Busters.
  3. The job is an entry into the company that they want to work with in another capacity.
  4. They actually feel that they can make a difference in peoples lives, and this is the best use of their ‘people person’ skills.
  5. They actually need to provide for their family, and this is the only way they can find to do just that.

So, how does God fit into this? Well, the way I see it is that God wants us all to succeed. He wants us all to find our own path; and somewhere along this perfect timing thing that He has, he wants us all to have this human interaction, this level of emotion, this sense of dependence, this hope and even this sense of disappointment. And perhaps, the person on the other end of the line can help us with all of these.

Hummm…those things sound a little bit like the adjectives of Jesus…interaction, emotion, dependence, disappointment and finally hope.

Crazy correlation, I know, but, after my wife was just told by a CSR with our cable provider that we should leave our TV on so that we would know when the TV service had been restored, we decided to laugh. Laughter is the building block for hope…sound familiar. Don’t you think Jesus laughed at the absurdity of some of the people He knew…talk about a guy in the ultimate roll of a CSR!

So, yes, I missed the opportunity to spin a great Star Wars pun in my blog. But, I think I can use one in reverse.

“Fear is the path to the dark side…fear leads to anger…anger leads to hate…hate leads to suffering.” Master Yoda, The Phantom Menace

So, is God all around this?

Press 1, to speak to a Customer Service Representative.

Press 2, to Laugh.

Press 3, for Hope.

 

Peace,

Allen Mercer

PS: I know several CSRs in real life. They are awesome, hardworking professionals that take a great deal of life’s ugliness and disappointments and turn it into chocolate cake covered in sugar. They do NOT get the credit that they are due.

Allen Mercer is an author with a ‘heart on fire’ to write about God’s grace in a factual and fiction genre. Learn more at:

http://www.GAllenMercer.com

http://www.facebook.com/GAllenMercer (Please LIKE)

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IDL4KQ8 (Get your book here!)