Some days I almost think that I wouldn’t trade my job for anything! That was the case a just over a month ago when I was able to acquire exactly the accordion that Leo needed, at a price he was happy with. The “love my job” part isn’t about the money, but it’s about the nearly palpable joy Leo exuded as he headed out the door with his new toy. Unfortunately, that joy was gone when he returned the instrument a couple of weeks ago, with a small problem. I reassured him that we could take care of the issue easily, thinking that I was the one who would fix his problem and make his joy return.
Two weeks and a raft of phone calls later, some not returned, some completely unsatisfactory in their outcome, it is clear that I am not the one. I thought that my “customer service” representative at the company that wholesaled the instrument to me might be the one. It turns out that he doesn’t understand what his title means and I was passed on to the “customer service” rep at the manufacturer. Are you starting to see a pattern here?
The manufacturer’s customer service representative failed completely in his promises and obviously wasn’t the one, so I turned back to my wholesaler’s district manager. Perhaps, he was the one. “Call the ‘real’ customer service rep”, was his reply. Nope…not the one. The “real” customer service rep (at the wholesale company), understood his title a little better, but he handed me back to the manufacturer again, so he’s clearly not the one, either. When I called the manufacturer this time, the man who answered the phone was actually the fellow who determines the disposal of returned merchandise. He, in fact, knew exactly what needed to be done. “Wait a minute. I’ll get you a return authorization.” I was cautiously optimistic; hopeful that I had finally found the one! Sure enough, in moments, I had the all-important authorization in hand for returning the product to them. Better than that, he wanted to listen to what the instrument was doing over the phone, and he is positive that they can make the customer happy once more! He is the one! Some days, I almost think I wouldn’t trade my job for anything!
Somehow, we spend our lives looking for the one, that solitary individual who has the solution to our problem. I remember a few years ago, when the Lovely Lady was suffering with acute pain in her shoulder. Believing that the problem might be a functional issue that could be helped by physical manipulation, instead of being treated internally, she opted to go to a chiropractor. That physician ignored her symptoms and signed her up for a year’s worth of back treatments, “…to get your spine correctly aligned again. Then all your symptoms will be gone.” I was reminded of the doctor who recommended a medication for treating a cold. “You’ll be right as rain in seven days,” he promised. “Well, what if I wait it out?” the patient inquires. “Oh,” comes the educated reply. “Then it will take a whole week.” The Lovely Lady cancelled her remaining appointments with the chiropractor (definitely not the one)and called a medical doctor (also not the one), who made an appointment with a specialist (once again, not the one). Does this sound familiar? Still looking for the one, the Lovely Lady was, at last, shuttled back to a sports physical therapist, who assigned her some simple exercises that focused on the calcium deposit in her shoulder. In a week or two, the pain was gone and it was obvious that she had found the one.
Can you identify with these scenarios? How many times in life have you waited for the one? I cannot begin to count them. Best friend, mechanic, pastor, team member, guitar teacher…the list goes on and on. We are constantly on the lookout for that individual who is head and shoulders above all the others in the running. Frequently, we think we have found him or her, only to be disappointed shortly. We’ll not go into the argument about whether there is only one human in the world who is the one person we are intended to spend our lives with as our soul mate. Whatever the final word is in that argument, we haven’t heard it yet. Regardless, we look for the one and have varying amounts of success in the search. I’ve told you before that I am pleased that I found the Lovely Lady (she says she found me), and am convinced that no one else would have put up with me anyway. She is, no doubt, the one for me, as is her similar claim for me.
I’m not going to spend a lot of words preaching to you tonight. I’m betting that you are all reasonably intelligent individuals, who can connect the rest of the dots without all the numbers, who easily grasp the gist of the word pictures I’ve already sketched out here. Let me say it this way and then you’re on your own: If you are looking for the one in a spiritual sense, there are an astounding number of wrong choices. Every single one of them has a promise to make and every single one of them will disappoint utterly. Every place you look, every credo you claim will leave you empty and searching, until you find The One. And there is indeed, only One.
I think it’s time for me to stop for now. You see, I’ve got an accordion to package up tomorrow. Turns out, for that kind of work, I am the one. It’s not my highest aspiration, but for today, I’ll accept the honor. I can work my way up the ladder from there.
“Now to the King of ages, immortal, invisible, to the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
(I Timothy 1:17)
Morpheus: “You are The One, Neo. You see, you may have spent the last few years looking for me, but I have spent my entire life looking for you.”
(from “The Matrix” movie~1999)