Deuteronomy and the DMV

Today I have set before you
life and prosperity, death and doom.
I call heaven and earth today to witness against you:
I have set before you life and death,
the blessing and the curse.
Choose life, then,
that you and your descendants may live.
Deuteronomy 30:15, 19

This Thursday of the week of Ash Wednesday brings us Moses’ passionate plea to the Isrealites to choose the fullness of life in God rather than the death of sin and darkness.  Everyday, we’re given this same choice, in big and small ways. 

Just yesterday I made a trip to the DMV to renew my driver’s license.  I lacked the proper ID, but the kind agent said she’d see what she could do.  After explaining my options to me, I decided to return later with my passport.  She smiled kindly and said, “We’ll see you in a little bit.  Drive safely!” 

When I returned, the line was just as long, and unfortunately my sweet agent was at lunch.  I sat for a while, and when my number was called I belatedly pulled out of a daydream to step up to the counter. The current agent reprimanded me, saying, “I called your number!” I felt reprimanded and my cheeks got red, but I bit my tongue from a sarcastic reply.  Her behavior, more in keeping with what I’ve come to expect from the DMV, briefly cast a shadow over my day.  I left the office a little while later, glad to be freed of that gloomy environment.

What a contrast in behavior!  Two agents in the same office, yet both choosing a different response and way of treating their customers.  “Choose life” that you might live in a place of warmth and good wishes, not embarrassment and frustration.

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