Psalm 86:7 In the day of my trouble

I will call upon thee:

for thou wilt answer me




No Answer

Debit or credit? Amount ok? My goodness, what is this? Why all these questions with no place to answer? I recently returned to the workforce. My husband is thrilled. I  am not. I have gone back to work at a grocery store where I worked for over 15 years. I haven't worked in six years so even though a lot is the same as always, a lot has also changed. The government food program that once distributed paper coupons is now using cards with magnetic strips that are run through a credit card machine. The whole concept is confusing and complicated.

When a person has any type of plastic their first question to me ALWAYS is, "Which way do I turn it?" The next question I have to ask them, "What kind of a card, debit or credit or other?" And ALWAYS I have to enter their answer on my machine because their's doesn't provide a button for them to push with the answer. This takes an extra 55 minutes usually. Why doesn't the machine have a place for them to answer debit or credit or other? The process continues slowly but surely. If the card is readable, which is always an event worth celebrating, the machine then ask, "Amount ok?" Upon which they ALWAYS ask, "What do I push?" You see, after they are asked if the amount is ok they can either answer yes or no they assume, and so would I. There is a problem. The machine does not provide an answer to the question. There is not a yes or no button. Confused people always complain.

My very first day back one customer summed up the whole credit card machine situation very well. He said, "It asks you a question and doesn't give you any choice of answers, what am I supposed to push?" Each time I am at that store I answer the question, " What do I push?” with the same answer for the fortieth million time, "Press the green button, press enter," which in essence means," Yes, the amount is ok."

I thought and even told the customer who asked  that first day, "Sounds a lot like life sometimes, it asks you a question, and there doesn't seem to be an answer." Sometimes life doesn't seem to give us a choice; there is not a  yes or no button. We just have to accept our circumstance, continue the process slowly and just enter in. The process is sometimes confusing and complicated.  We complain A LOT.  Sometimes we feel rejected, just like those unreadable cards. Sometimes we feel elated when we happen upon events worth celebrating amidst all the confusion, just like those readable cards.

Sometime when we don't know which way we should turn, when we feel confused, when we feel rejected, a lot of us simply answer all the questions in our lives, with the answer, "There is no answer." Like the customers with unreadable, rejected cards, we sometimes give up.

A month or so has gone by now since that first day back at work when the guy told me it asks you a question and doesn't give you a place to answer. I had thought of writing this story comparing the credit card machine to life but had never really thought of an ending until today. On my way home this morning from the store that is in much need of a brand new credit card machine, I passed a brand new church with a brand new marquis out front. On the sign was the ending to this story.