Monday, January 1, 2007

Um . . . woops

Having forgotten that the grocery stores would be closed today for both New Year's Day and for theIslamic Sacrifice Feast, I found myself with nothing but oatmeal to eat for dinner (which I had already eaten earlier for lunch). So we decided to order pizza from a local Italian restaurant we like. According to the menu in our possession, our total would've been about $17. But when the delivery guy arrived, it was actually $26. After giving my roommate crap that he (a) didn't confirm the price over the phone and (b) actually caved in and paid the $26, I threw on my coat and walked ten minutes to the restaurant to explain the situation and get my money back. In true Andrew Hall fashion, I would not lose money without making a huge ordeal about it. (You ought to see me with taxi drivers who claim to not have any change.)

Upon arriving at the tiny but fully occupied restaurant, I discovered that the prices really had increased by some 50% in the past few months, and that my roommate simply had not checked the price. I apologized to the owner and walked back home to eat my expensive pizza. A short while later, though, the owner called to apologize that we didn't have the most current menu, and he sent someone over to refund the extra $9 we rightfully paid.

Now in America this wouldn't be a big deal, but here the need to keep face, honor and respect others, and avoid any sort of public disgrace is real and present. And I sought it fit to throw that all aside over a few bucks. When the owner not only called back but actually refunded our money, I got that sinking feeling in my conscience (I think it's called the Holy Spirit or something). Here I was, so bent upon exercising my rights that I didn't even care about this man's reputation. I chose to bypass Jesus, who gave up all his rights to praise and reverence as God and took on human form, was reviled, shunned, and estranged by his peers, and eventually was made to bear the pain and ignominy of public execution. Woops. I guess I screwed up that one pretty good. And by that I mean--gulp--sin: heaps of pride and care for myself over another man.

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