I had a great time at the DMV this week. Yes, you read that correctly. I had a great time at the DMV this week.
“Great time” and the DMV don’t usually go together.
Frustration and the DMV
Irritation and the DMV
Annoyance and the DMV
Time Vacuum and the DMV
But not “Great Time” and the DMV.
I was late, by 8 months, in renewing the tags on my 1973 VW Super Beetle. I know. I feel ashamed. I was prepared for a big fine and a big lecture – or at least a condescending look.
On top of being late, when I handed my insurance document to the DMV clerk, she informed me that It was missing the VW’s VIN. Rats!!! Maxwell the Geico pig in the above pic, had all the pertinents. I didn’t. I knew what that meant. No renewal tags for me. Time wasted. Frustration. Irritation.
I had a choice. How will I respond? I thought before I spoke – which doesn’t happen a lot!
I have been studying “Karma.” I know, a lot of Christians blow a Bible gasket when karma is mentioned. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because the word comes from faith expressions they think as wrong. But is it wrong?
Karma means action. It’s the old, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” law of Newton.
“Karma” is defined by Urban Dictionary as “getting what you give” or “reaping what you sow.” Whoa. Urban Dictionary is using the Bible to define karma. Hmmmm.
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the spirit, from the spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:7-10).
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven (Luke 6:37).
And then, the part of this passage that most preachers read right before the offering, while skipping the most convicting part above:
“Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38).
Jesus applies the “karma” principle to how we treat people. How we treat others is how we’ll be treated. I tried it at the DMV.
“Thank you for being so thorough,” I told the clerk. “You’re good at what you do.”
I intentionally chose against irritation in favor of appreciation.
The result? The clerk said, “You’re a nice guy. We can figure out a way to make this work.”
I walked out with the new stickers for my old Beetle.
Did Karma work? Was she nice to me because I was nice to her?
I don’t know. Maybe she was jus a nice gal.
But, I do know that being nice made me feel better inside.
Being nice may be its own reward.
Call it Karma. Don’t call it Karma. But be kind.