There are always roadblocks of one kind of or another. These last two summers I spent fuming at DOT (Motto: Doing Our Best to Make Summer Miserable for YOU!) because of the various roadblocks around town, or at the State of Alaska or the Feds for making my job impossible at PHH with all the Medicaid regulations that actually kept us from helping kinds.

Yesterday I encountered some very frustrating roadblocks. It started when we tried to pay the movers for moving our stuff to Oregon. The debit card was denied. It turns out they will not allow more than $1,000 a day, and even though I have more money in my account than I have had in decades, the bank would not honor the debit. So we called them, and explained, and it seemed that everything was ok, until dinner when the card was denied again. And also at the hotel. I went to get online, which you have to pay for at the Westmark in Canada, which took five tries because of security issues around the passwords, and finally did. Did I have an email from Spirit of Alaska or Visa? I could not tell, because Google shut down my email because I was accessing it from Canada. I had to log on and go through the futile exercise of proving my iPad was my iPad and my account was my account.

No email, so I tried calling Visa. It took five different numbers to finally find a human, who could only read from a script. All I got from her was, “I’m sorry” and then a different reiteration of the script. I asked to speak to her manager, because I am in the middle of Canada and if the banks are keeping me from my money, that could make this a pretty inconvenient trip! Oh, and if Visa called and left a message to report suspicious activity, I could not get it because my phone service is ATT and they do not cover Canada. It would cost an arm two legs just to check my messages.

I finally got a human who could only tell me they could not tell me anything.

I think it will all work out. I have a credit card, which I don’t want to use, but can. I can call my bank in Alaska when they open, and maybe I just hit my daily limit.

The funny thing is, all these roadblocks were set up by people who are trying to help me (with the exception of ATT). it’s one thing to stopped when someone is trying to stop you. It is quite another when you are stopped by people who are trying to help you.

Well intentioned roadblocks are the worst because it is hard to convince people who are trying to help you that they are really being a pain in the butt. C.S. Lewis said of someone, “She was the kind of person who lives for others, and you can the others by their haunted looks.”

When help or protection is an affliction we end up undoing our best efforts.

May I never be the type of pastor who has to impose my good will on others.

About tmrichmond3

I am the pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Medford, Oregon. I believe that faith should be able to sustain us, not oppress us.
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3 Responses to Roadblocks

  1. Jake says:

    Hang in there…this too will pass.

  2. Sandra Miller Pitts says:

    My dear son in law…….so happy to find you here! Thank you for the 90% that precipitated the move….my redhead home again after all these years…..will follow you on the adventure down…and as I have heard said .”God’s speed.”

  3. Happy says:

    I’m in Florida, but before leaving Fairbanks, went to bank…..told them I was going to be traveling….they made lots of notes…A-OK…..NOT….of course in Canada and did not get ATT international plan….We were in Stewart,BC, no 800 numbers can be dialed….haha….walked across to Hyder and they have one phone booth…..Its a few steps away from Stewart, population less than 30…..haha….but they actually have a pay phone….We came down the Cassier in late September and it was beautiful. Since you took the Alcan, hope you stopped at Laird Hot Springs !! What a treat….Blessings that all goes more smoothly…

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