Over the last year I’ve realized something about myself. I’m pretty jacked up. This occurred to me after I dealt with my mobile carrier last week.
What I anticipated being a fairly simple procedure – removing my son from my account and setting him up with his own – ended up taking most of the day on the phone and eventually led to me having to go in to a local store. At the store the transaction took maybe fifteen minutes.
Why, in this day and age, I could not do this online or over the phone is a mystery to me. The representative I spoke with did not tell me until late in the afternoon that an in-store visit was required. Why not tell me that at the beginning of the conversation?
You’ve likely had similar adventures in poor customer service and may be reading this and thinking I may have been justified to be upset. But as I drove home that night and stewed over the time I wasted that day I wondered why I was so mad. Yes, there is no excuse for sub-par service. But the reality is I have no control over that and that was my problem. I remembered what I’ve been working on over the past several months.
Adventures with a horse track pastor
My friend Michael is a therapist and pastor. He’s the pastor at a horse track just outside of San Antonio. I didn’t even know horse tracks had pastors, but apparently this one does and Michael is it and from what I hear he’s a very good horse track pastor.
The first time you meet Michael he can be imposing. He’s tall with a beard. But it’s after you have your first conversation with him that you realize the incredible love he has for people. After you meet him once he will typically greet you from then on with the question, “Have I told you lately that I love you?” This is most often accompanied by a hug; the kind of hug only a big, bearded horse track pastor therapist can give.
Michael has helped me work through, among other issues, my tendency to want to control situations. But he’s helped me realize so much more than that.
You see, all of us have issues that, given the right set of circumstances, get stirred up and then expose the uglier parts of us we’d rather others not see. As Michael has worked with me, I’ve realized that we all have stuff we’re dealing with.
Making room for each other
I’m blessed with an eclectic circle of friends all of whom have some baggage they’re carrying around. Sometimes they can annoy the crap out of me. But that’s okay because I know that I annoy the crap out of them more often.
Life and the relationships that go with it is messy and awkward and challenging. The deepest and most significant friendships I have are with those who are the most honest, the most transparent, the most vulnerable about their own messiness.
You may be reading this and thinking to yourself, “Man! I’m glad I have it all together and figured out.” If that’s you, that’s great! Hit me up for coffee sometime because I’d like to see what someone like you looks like.