How would you rate God’s customer service?
As I lounged in my comfy clothes, ordering groceries online, legs outstretched on the coffee table, my frustration mounted. Many of the items 0n my master list were no longer available – replaced by inferior brands or completely unavailable.”What is this injustice? What do you mean you don’t have Gevalia Colombia K-cups?” I queried and shook my fists in the air. Still quite satisfied with the fact that grocery shopping did not require me to be presentable, I triple-checked my cart and reserved my timeslot for pick-up. Once I retrieved and began to unpack my groceries, I wasn’t particularly jazzed with the selection of produce or meats. “What is this injustice?” I queried and shook my fists in the air. This was not my normal experience. I had used this service at my favorite grocery store for years. And then…a few days later a customer survey landed in my inbox.
I’m not the customer-service-survey type. I don’t send my food back when it’s not good; I don’t complain about bad service; that’s just not my bag. And it’s not because I’m conflict-averse; I’m actually a proponent of necessary difficult conversations. My beef with giving feedback is that people ask for it but rarely want it. The passive aggressiveness of that annoys me to no end, but that’s a rant for another post…
But on this occasion – and because I genuinely love buying my groceries online and wanted to improve the service – I completed the survey. I mentioned the two areas of my dissatisfaction, sent it off to the mythical grocery store chain headquarters in the sky, quite pleased with myself for speaking into the process. Until I walked into the store the next time and the manager, who also lives in my neighborhood, graciously thanked me for my input.
The only other times I can remember giving customer feedback was at Chick-Fil-A because I was guaranteed a free sandwich and at the gym. A few years back, I emailed the head honcho gym guy to request that E! not be a channel option on the TVs. I’m not an E! hater or anything, but I didn’t think any of us needed to be subjected to blurred out Kardashian body parts while working out. And that’s my feedback resume. Over the course of all my years, I have made my voice heard in the service sector only three times.
Whether we frequently give feedback or rarely, we are conditioned to assess experiences in those terms – even if just internally: How long did we have to wait? How was the service? Were we blown away by the product? Did anything diminish our experience? How were we treated by the staff?
There’s nothing inherently wrong with that line of thought. Unless we allow it to leak in and saturate our relationship with God. We can be assured that He always wants our honesty, so we can pray about anything. But when we begin to approach him from a consumer’s paradigm. When we begin to score Him on how long we’ve been waiting. When we begin to complain about the “service” we’re receiving or how our difficult circumstances are diminishing our enjoyment of him, we are operating out of an entitled heart. And it’s a sure sign we’ve gotten way too big for our britches…
We are not God’s patrons; he does not owe us because we are faithful subscribers. He is not threatened that we’ll go elsewhere if we aren’t satisfied. He is the Creator of the whole stinkin’ universe, and we are wise to humble ourselves as we see in Jeremiah 18:1-6. We are not his customers; we are his creation. And sometimes – at least personally, I can stand to go a lot bigger on worship and at a lot less on whiny.
So, when I find myself asking with scrunched face, “What is this injustice?” as I shake my fists in the air, he faithfully reminds me he’s no short order cook who fulfills my demands. He is the one who placed the mole above the right corner of my lip. He’s the one who chose thick brown hair and short stubby toes for me, long before I drew air into my lungs and expelled it with a wail. With his very own Father hands, he made me. Knew me and loved me. And then He gently whispers, “Let’s be clear. I am your Father, the Creator of all your eyes can see. I am not your service provider, dear one. Now let’s proceed accordingly.”