personal

Getting even at the package counter

It was 11 in the morning. The mall had just opened. I had three errands to run and I put my grocery shopping at the end of the list. After a quick run to Saizen, I decided to leave the things I bought at the package counter for errand number two. The attendant tells me they don’t accept packages that were not bought from the supermarket. I thought that was the first time I heard that policy. As far as I know, anyone can drop anything at the package counter. I told him that I was going to do grocery shopping but not at this time, and that this policy wasn’t enforced yesterday, so why now? But he was insistent. He gave me this attitude, slid, more like threw the number at me which I thought was very rude, and so I decided to return the favor. Fine, want me to do grocery now? Here.

I don’t like cranky people. I don’t like cranky people who don’t think for a second, who give no voice to logic or reason. I don’t like people who can’t give a good enough reason when you ask them something logical, and all they return you with is crankiness and attitude. It provokes me.

So I went to the grocery, got what I needed —and because I was still fuming mad over that attendant, I bought ice cream. As I was paying for it, I was scheming in my head. Let’s see how he handles this. I went to the customer service, spoke with the manager in my loud voice and said, “Excuse me. What is this new policy that I can’t leave my things at the package counter pag hindi galing sa grocery? I plan to do grocery but for later pa sana, kaya lang, yung staff niyo in charge said I can’t leave my things. So now I’m forced to do grocery and my ice cream will melt. Anong gagawin ko dito? Worse, umagang umaga ang dami ng reklamo. Tinapon pa sakin yung number! Ano ba yan?”

Long story short –the attendant was asked to see me, the management apologized on his behalf, and in front of people, the attendant was reprimanded and made to apologize to me. Friends, I bring you my worst version –the scheming, you-cross-me-I’ll-cross-you KZ.

Today’s message in church was on Samuel 24, when David resisted the urge to get even and spared King Saul’s life –the man who had repeatedly tried to kill him for many years. It was a powerful message and the lesson reverberates. Don’t hold grudges. Let God be the judge. Is it ever our role as Christians to get even? That passage brought me back to this memory which happened a few months ago, maybe three or four. I can still remember the look of the attendant as he was being reprimanded. I remember the smug feeling I had, that shameful pride I carried because I outsmarted this man. But at what cost? As I drove back home, my heart stirred. I knew I had sinned, and so terribly. I knew that I could have just let the matter slip, been more patient and considerate, even forgiving. But there I was, with an intention to get even because I thought it was my right, because to my “better judgment”, he had to learn to his lesson. And I had to involve the ice cream with it. It’s not one of my proudest memories, and it definitely puts any Christian mark undistinguishable. It is mockery, it is rebellion, it is dishonor to Christ, what I did back there. I find such humbling lessons from it now.

When people wrong you, do you often feel the urge to get even?  Ironically, I look back on my past and see very little of me wanting to get even. Most of the time, I just keep to myself, write my heart out and pray to God to heal me of hurts. That’s actually very KZ of me. Even when I fight with my sisters, when I can’t deal with it any longer, I just keep quiet, go to a room, and pray. I pray for healing. I pray for forgiveness and the strength to overlook the matter. This time was different. I acted on it very brashly and went for the kill. And the effect was pure and utter shame. What have I done, Lord?

I write this so that we all learn that getting even is never the best response. Look at Jesus, our Savior. If anybody had any right and perfect reason to get even, it would be him. Mocked at the cross, spat at, beaten, tortured and then hanged, he even prayed to God to “forgive them for they know not what they do.” With this, he brought salvation to us. Jesus’ example of humility puts any other reason we have for getting even at zero acceptance. Always remember that, KZ.

 

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