Monday, May 4, 2009

Even Netflix has its limits

Some will recall my saga of perpetually lost and found library privileges. Netflix recently revoked our privileges too...or shall I say, "put our account on hold?" Stifled by the stagnation of red envelopes to our mailbox, I called to inquire "pourquoi?" The agent informed me that there is a 6 disk limit per year on "claimed lost" disks. Apparently, they were counting and we'd reached that. (This is why I don't borrow movies from friends-- far too risky.) The customer service agent on the line asked, "Do you know how this happened?" "Oh, girlfriend," I was tempted to ask her, "how long is your shift?"

Here's a lesson in awareness, now that April (and Autism Awareness Month) is over: not everyone needs to know the whole story. I opted for the "play it dumb" approach and was most thankful that she had the authority and grace to reinstate our account. We'll try harder, this time.

What really bothered me, more than their tallying our delinquency was that they didn't inform me we were out of favor. Did they figure I was counting how many disks were scratched beyond repair, returned in an open envelope only to slip into oblivion, dropped into the storm sewer or eaten by the dog? Were they going to send me a pink slip? Apparently not. As forgiving as they are (Netflix was founded when Reed Hastings got fed up with Blockbuster late fees), they do have limits. And not surprisingly, we reached them. I just wish they would have told me that my time was up! Instead they cut me off and waited for me to call and beg for reinstatement.

No one has more mercy than God the Father. Throughout time He has had mercy on wayward humanity, through the Fall, the Flood, the Cross, and one day the Rapture. Yet, certainly in His perfect justice there are also limits. Does He tell us when we've reached them? Send a pink slip in the mail? A bolt of lightning to straighten us up? Or is it up to us to log in and check our status, place a call, prostrate ourselves, return to the prayer closet, fess up?

Maybe sometimes He does announce our status to us. For me right now though, He doesn't have to. I've been counting. It's been more than 6 dyas since I had a bonafide prayer time. He knows that I know, that He knows, that I have been out of touch. The onus is on me to simply make the prayer time, prioritize the Bible study, and care to share.

Sara Groves has a great song, "How Is It Between Us?" that describes the ennui I've been feeling for the last couple weeks. My study circle concluded for summer and although we met to celebrate Purim (as the climax of Esther) and watch One Night with the King, we are "out of the Word," so to speak. That means I am out of the daily disciplines of prayer and study that change the course of my day and enlighten my outlook. God knows it; I know it; now you know it. Amazing the power of accountability and the weakness of our flesh. More amazing is the power in those habits.

He is there waiting, I know, with a fresh word if I would just open it. A new infilling if I would take time to bow. How many days does it take you to notice the stagnation of your spirit...and dial up to complain, "Where are my movies!" "Where's the fruit?"

If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him." Luke 17:3-5

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:7-9

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:4-6


  1. That is SUCH a good Sara Groves song! And sorry about Netflix! That's really frustrating! It's so amazing that our heavenly Father is not the same way.

  2. Great post. I am, too, a very delinquent library/netflix I have a son with autism AND I'm a Christian. Gee...we connect on so many levels!!

    Come visit me sometime!

  3. I once saw Sara Groves in concert and she started singing the song, How Is It Between Us. Well, she kept forgetting the lyrics. After the 3rd time, forgetting the lyrics, she stopped right there and started communing with the Lord saying, 'Really, Lord. How is it between us. I need you. I've been away too long...' Then after she and God had their brief time, she continued the concert. I'll never forget it.

    So, you posted this 11 hrs. ago. Did you have your prayer time yet? =)

  4. Very cool experience Jeneil. Sara is such an authentic woman and performer. I saw her at the House of Blues here. Gabby lives in Minnesota and I think has met her in a hospital room. Well, I did get to Moms in Touch to pray...but my own communing will be tomorrow, promise!

  5. Andrea (and Donna)
    Ah! I am not alone in my library and netflix disfavor coupled with Christianity. I always feel slouchy in a I'm-not-a-good-Christian sort of way when the librarian has to yell at me. BUT I hope it's one of those white-washed tombs things: I am NOT white-washed but I also hope I am not a tomb inside.
    I am going to blogroll you on my blog!

  6. I believed that I had an internal 'clock' for time to check-in with my children when they were out of sight (the 'time' necessarily extended as they grew).

    "How many days does it take you to notice the stagnation of your spirit?"
    Very good question.
    Not so easy to answer. Do I have an internal clock for that? I'm going to think on/pray on this question a while. Thank you!

    LOVED One Night With the King! Highly recommend it! Barbara