The story you are about to read is true… some details have been changed to confuse the victim.
I’ve learned a lot from my sisters. The Bible says that a brother is born for adversity. We certainly taught each other lessons the hard way. Tears and tantrums, practical jokes and cold shoulders – oh and the silent treatment. Fortunately, as we’ve grown, we still learn from each other, but with less fanfare.
Such was the case a couple weeks ago. Kelsey, my third sister, is highly practical. She manages money with frugality. To be honest, she and I both border on miserly – or are at least incredibly fearful of financial issues. So we tend to be overly cautious and fretful especially in these economic times. Funny too, since both of our husbands are blessedly employed, happy in their jobs with no eminent threats. Ah, but fear is rarely rational.
We are planning an event together. When I was in Texas visiting her recently, we decided to make a trip to the planned location to scope it out. When we arrived, our chintzy instincts went to high gear. Nickel and dime-ing was an understatement! Even as a resident of D.C., one of the most expensive places to live, I was shocked. Parking was a fee, valets were extra, of course reservations cost, then add on a separate “resort fee” and another per-car charge and by the way – no discounts. Even my military discount was denied, as they insisted that the active duty soldier must be present.
The place itself was spectacular! We must have looked like back-woods hicks, traipsing through with our eyes bugged out and tennis shoes squeaking on the polished floors. We drove away, called and made our reservations (they don’t have a place to make reservations in person). I was dogmatic that this place was so exceptional, we had to have it, but just as dogmatic that I didn’t want to go broke on a one night event. For the rest of the day we schemed up ways to get the military discount we felt we deserved. What innocent (is there such a thing?) little white lie could we tell so that we could sneak in under their up-turned noses?
A few days later, I was home again and planning to call the uppity reservation line again. I had devised a small fib that would hopefully get us around their red tape and rules. Quickly, I called Kelsey and told her my plan.
“Um, I’ve been thinking,” she began. “We’re studying holiness together on Wednesday nights. And I just can’t get beyond the conviction that lying to them to save a few dollars isn’t very holy or Christ-like. I think we should just be completely honest, ask again, and see what they say.”
Nothing like being put in your place by your little sister! It feels good, I promise. I’m so proud of her!
So, I hung up with Kelsey and dialed the huffy operator. Much to my surprise a very friendly Diane answered the phone this time. I carefully, politely explained the situation one more time. I told her why we wanted the reservation and how surprised I was that my military ID was worthless for the appropriate discount. I have never had this problem anywhere before. Diane was as surprised as I was!
“I don’t know why the operator didn’t understand,” Diane apologized. “Of course I’ll take care of that, email you the confirmation of the new discounted rate, and I’ll make sure that Kristen knows the policy.”
I hung up the phone and danced through the kitchen!
“Kelsey! Guess what,” I had to call her back. “The lady I spoke to said that we deserved the discount. She apologized and adjusted the rate!”
What a good God. He truly honors obedience. And as God’s children we have no choice but to be honest and imitate the one who calls Himself, “The Truth.”