One of the three scripture selections for today was Acts 16: 16-34, the story of Paul and Silas in jail. Here's part of it:
16:16 One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling.

16:17 While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, "These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation."

16:18 She kept doing this for many days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And it came out that very hour.
Read the rest here.

The rest of the story is about Paul and Silas going to jail for this and then God gets them out and uses them to save the jailer and his family. But the preacher beleaguered the point of Paul's annoyance. Maybe it's just the WORD but annoyance seems to imply a problem with the person being annoyed. But she said that the annoyance was the Holy Spirit working on Paul. I don't understand that at all. The girl/spirit's only crime against Paul was telling the truth and calling him a slave of God. Was it the word slave? Or was it just that she wouldn't leave him alone?

But I've never felt totally comfortable with everything Paul did and wrote. I chalk it up to my lack of understanding, of course. And I seek that understanding, in a "I believe, but help my unbelief" kind of way.

I've got a whole list of things that are annoying me, although something tells me that's not really the Holy Spirit working on me. Or is it? Here's my latest annoyance/thing that's running in a loop in my head, waking and sleeping, every chance it gets. This is not necessarily something anyone needs to read, but I hope if I write it out I won't be obsessing any more.

A few weeks ago I had my eyes examined -- to get contact lenses and some prescription sunglasses. The doctor was very kind and gave me a sample pair of contacts and asked me to wear them for a couple weeks to decide if the prescription would work (my eyes had been bothering me when wearing contacts and it felt like I couldn't see very well when wearing them). If the contacts are fine she said she would write the prescription for me, and if I wanted I could order contacts. The sunglasses purchase was fine, in fact I really felt good about my choice and the saleswoman who helped me/sold them to me.

I did not get my eyes dilated at my original eye exam because Shawn was out of town and I'd rather he be with me to walk me home -- not that it really affects your vision and the eye place isn't too far away, but still.

Fast forward two weeks and I've decided the contacts are great. I call and speak to a different saleswoman -- someone I don't like and with whom I have a history, although I don't know that she could really remember me on the phone.

Back story: when I first got my glasses at this place the frames I selected cracked the lenses. It was just a couple weeks after I'd had them when I came in, and this woman rudely told me tough luck, I'd have to buy new glasses. I looked past her to the doctor, who remembered me, and she intervened, making it right. I was able to get new lenses, which again cracked, so I got new frames without additional expense (other than my time and the hassle of course).

Anyway, I call and this woman answers, so I tell her my contacts have worked out and I would like to know the prescription. She reluctantly tells me what I find out later is incorrect. (So if I'd ordered elsewhere I'd have had contacts that didn't work for my eyes.) Then she gives me a tough sell (granted, that's her job) about a rebate and how they're the lowest price AND that I can swap any contacts I have left unopened for the correct prescription. So I go ahead and order, ask her about making the eye dilation appointment and she suggests that I make the appointment once the contacts are in. OK.

Ten days later and I still haven't heard from them about whether the contacts are in. So I call and she's the person who answers the phone and hatefully tells me that she called me already and yes, they are in. I say OK and that I'll come get them. I go in later that day and she tells me twice more that she called and left a message, insisting that I must be mistaken. I'm kind of like "who cares" I am picking them up now, OK?

She can't swap out my old boxes of contacts because they're older than a year. Understandable but seems like something she should have told me over the phone instead of using it as the sales pitch (she also had my record open to know that my contacts would be at least that old).

I get pretty upset with the way she's treating me and blaming me for her oversights and mis-speaks, so after I ask her about scheduling the dilation I change my mind and decide I never want to have to see her again. I say nevermind and leave. Of course I realize she didn't give me a receipt, which I'll need for the rebate. So back I go to get one, and she gives me attitude about that too, saying I already have a receipt. I told her I bought them on the phone, so I didn't get a receipt, so she reluctantly prints me one.

I want to write a letter, complain or something. But what would that accomplish? They can't refund me anything (although I'd like to return my contacts in case she's working on commission!), and the only thing I can think to ask is that she be retrained so other people don't need to be treated this way by her.

The only way this could be the Holy Spirit working on me is that I should pray for her. And hope that her life gets better. Maybe I should call another day to schedule the dilation -- May is healthy vision month, after all, and the dilation is already paid for as part of my eye exam.

Clearly I need to get over myself. Working on that now. Crochet post coming shortly.

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