When I went to bed last night, I had thought I’d scheduled a post for this morning, but my friend Susan emailed me to say that there was no post. That’s when I realized, I thought about writing a post, but I never did. I got distracted shortly thereafter and completely forgot. I have today off for work, so I’m taking the day off completely to rest and relax.
Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
— Joshua 1:9
There has had no shortage of hard times and struggles the last few years, and as much as we’d like to run away from those struggles, we can’t. However, we can look to God to guide us through difficult times. We’ve had the ups and downs of life during a pandemic. There has been political upheavals, millions of deaths, supply shortages, economic problems, whether that be inflation, the high price of gas, or the loss of a job. A lot of us have experienced a combination of these adversities over the past few years. The writer Arthur Golden said, “Sometimes we get through adversity only by imagining what the world might be like if our dreams should ever come true.” For many of us, we imagine what the post-pandemic world will look like. Some of us worry the world has changed irreparably. Some of those changes have been bad, but some have been good.
If we were going it alone, any of these things might have been enough to break us, but through it all a strong faith that God is working in our lives, that we can trust Him, and that His strength is enough will get us through these adversities and the ones yet to come. One of hardest things to do as a Christian is to have faith that God is working, and to not be afraid of all the things that come our way. Isaiah 41:13 says, “For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
God hasn’t promised that we won’t suffer in this life, but He has told us that He’ll walk through our valleys with us. He’ll be right by our side, and His grace will be enough.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will [d]dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
When we look to God He will give us the strength we need to carry through the dark times. God has an unwavering love for us, and He will give us strength when we look to Him in prayer. First Peter 5:7 tells us to, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” With God as our strength and our guiding light, we can overcome and rise above our hardships. Psalm 46:1 advises us, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Yesterday, I went down to Boston for work. The new interactives for the museum are fantastic. They are so impressive and I can’t wait for them to be installed at the end of the summer. That was the good news. But, I knew from the moment I got in that rental car, that it was not going to go smoothly. As soon as I started the SUV, I realized that the instrument panel on the dashboard was not lighting up. It had worked the night before, but not yesterday morning. I tried several different things to get it to work, and nothing did. So, I thought I’d deal with it on the way. That was problem #1; problem #2 started a few minutes later when I was about a mile or so from my apartment. I had a thermos/tumbler of hot tea to drink on the way, and when I opened the spout and went to take a sip, the tea spilled all over the front of my shirt. I knew I had to quickly turn around and go back to my apartment to change shirts. I was only about a mile down the road, so it was a minor problem. The instrument panel was the major problem because one of the things not working was the gas gauge.
When I stopped to pick up the first of my coworkers, I googled on my phone how to fix the instrument panel. I watched a YouTube video and tried all the other troubleshooting sites. Nothing worked, so I had my coworker google it while I drove. She couldn’t find anything else. We were running late, so I headed to pick up my second coworker. After picking her up, I tried googling again. Finally, I came across a site that said, if you’ve tried everything else, it’s probably a blown fuse. I decided when I picked up our boss, I’d have him call Enterprise Rent-A-Car, tell them the problem, and have a car waiting for us at the place we were going in Boston. They’d been shitty enough yesterday, I thought this was the least they could do. My boss first said, “Oh, I can fix this.” I said, “I doubt it.” I know my boss, he always thinks he knows everything technical. So, he tried all the same things I tried, but nothing worked, just like I had told him.
His solution was to call our secretary and have her deal with Enterprise because if he or I called Enterprise, it was not going to be pretty. So, our secretary called. Enterprise’s suggestion was for us to go buy a fuse and change it out. I said, “No, no, no. That’s not going to work. We are on a schedule. See what else they suggest.” Their next suggestion was for us to show up at an Enterprise office on the way and try to talk them into exchanging our vehicle for one that worked. *eyes roll* Well, there were two fairly close to where we were, so our secretary called them to explain. The first did not have any vehicles for rent. Then, as we were waiting for our secretary to call the second place, suddenly, the instrument panel lights began to come on one at a time. My only assumption is that the fuse came loose, and as we were driving, it wiggled its way back in place. We did not have any more problems. It was smooth sailing the rest of the day.
Today, I am finally going for my next Botox treatment. With the problems I have been having with my migraines the last couple of weeks, I am really hoping this will provide some relief. I was happy that yesterday my headache was kept to a minimum. Yesterday was a long and tiring day, and today is another drive, but only an hour, not the three hours to Boston.
I’m taking a work trip today down to Boston. We are driving down, having a meeting, eating lunch, and then driving back. I hate doing a trip like that all in one day. It’s about three hours from my new apartment.
We are renting a car because my university says that any travel over 50 (or it may be 100) miles requires renting a car. We always have to use Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Back when I was the oral historian and traveled all over New England conducting interviews, I had a great relationship with Enterprise. The guys there knew me and really worked hard to be as helpful as possible. I never had any trouble except they’d often give me a free upgrade to an SUV when I really just wanted a car. Those guys transferred up to Burlington, and there is a whole new crew there.
With the new crew, I have only one thing to say, “Fuck Enterprise.” We booked a full-sized car (there are four of us going, so we wanted to be comfortable). They didn’t have a car that worked (no air conditioner), so they gave us an SUV. Because I’ll be driving in downtown Boston, I had specifically wanted a car because I think it’s more maneuverable. The “free upgrade” to an SUV really pissed me off because we were very specific on what we wanted. I don’t care if it’s a free upgrade. I booked a car for a reason!
As I said, I used to rent cars from them on a regular basis and have never had an issue with picking up the car. Yesterday was different. I was using the museum’s travel card, which is in my boss’s name. We’ve always done it this way. But when I went to pay, I was told that only my boss could sign for it because the card is in his name.
This has never been an issue. It’s a corporate account, and they always understood that the card may have a specific name but it was for anyone who worked at the museum. I pitched a fit, and after calling my boss to see if he could come to sign it (he lives about 30 minutes from Enterprise and was already home), the guy reluctantly decided he’d make an “exception” just this one time. I told him I’ve booked many cars with the museum card not in my name. He said “The policy changed.” If you change a policy like this, you should probably have inform you largest customer (my university rents a lot of cars from them because they are the only place here to rent a car from).
I’m also renting a car next week, again to go to Boston, for a four-day conference. So, I thought I’d check to make sure this wouldn’t be a problem again. When I told him it shouldn’t be because the car was already paid for through a direct payment from our corporate account, he said, “I doubt I that’s true.” I told him that it was booked through our CFO’s office. Thanks made him check, and when he did, he realized I was right and assured me that there would be no problem. I hope he’s right, and I hope he remembers me and makes sure they have car available.
Enterprise is going to think I’m a real asshole. Some of you may also after reading this, but I had a similar issue the last time I tried to rent a car by myself. I was not nice then, and I wasn’t particularly nice today because they were being unreasonable. Enterprise and really anyone that changes the rules without letting anyone know bring out the bitch in me.
Oh, and to top all of that off, they didn’t even have it ready. I had to wait forever for them to clean and wash the car. 🙄