Sunday, January 9, 2011

How Many Red Flags Does it Take?

I am coming to realize already in the short span of one week of this new year that God intends to show me--and highlight--the small ways in which he takes care of me. It's not that big isn't expected, but I believe he desires to sharpen my focus, and it's in the little ways that my perspective will become more clear.

Since learning of the payroll change, I've been scanning our monthly budget looking for pocket-sized ways to decrease our monthly outgo. One of those was found under the heading 'monthly finance charges', with the subheading of Frost Bank. Seeing that we pay a monthly fee for our checking account, I began the search for a free checking account ... at another bank. Surely if Frost had one we would have signed up for that in the first place, right?

Narrowing our options, I chose a local bank and held onto a refund check that we could use as our initial deposit until we could get direct deposit and all sorts of online banking transactions switched over. And on New Year's Eve, needing this switch immediately so the next payroll check could automatically be deposited there, Anthony and I went to the bank and opened our account.

Interestingly enough, the only thing I looked forward to after our dealings with the Branch Manager was the fact that I got to choose a pink debit card. The bank was very old and sparse and smelled like, well ... age. (Red Flag #1) The account set up process was like walking through a klutz's mind, with one blunder after another, but I was determined to chip away at our budget and this bank worked. (Red Flag #2)

A few days later I emailed Anthony the bank info to forward to the HR assistant. That same afternoon our debit cards came in the mail--or so I thought. His came in the mail...twice. A duplicate card for him, none for me and his name was spelled incorrectly on the cards to boot. (Red Flag #3) Great! It was Friday afternoon and now I'd have to make a trip to the bank the next morning to see if my card could be expedited so we could close our account at Frost before our monthly finance charge was incurred.

When asked later than evening if he had forwarded the direct deposit information, Anthony shook his head and said he hadn't even seen it at the bottom of my email. (Red Flag #4) I was frustrated but decided not to dwell on it.

The next morning, in my list of errands to run, I stopped by the bank to rectify the debit card situation knowing I had only 10 minutes to get this accomplished before having to head home and pick up Teighlor for rehearsal. Wouldn't it figure that the bank had only one desk representative available and the very women who walked in the door just ahead of me needed the desk rep too. (Red Flag #5) So I sat down and waited, and when it was obvious I was not going to be helped within my 10-minute window, I left even more frustrated than I had come. (Red Flag #6)

As I got into my car, all of my transactions with the bank were playing over in my mind. I then asked God out of mocking despair, "Are you trying to send me a message when it comes to this bank? One trip up after another is all I've experienced and now I have to come back again later after being beaten out to the desk by the woman I opened the door for?"

His immediate response: "Why don't you try calling Frost and see if they have a free checking account?"

Huh? Why hadn't I thought of that before? It seems like such a 'duh' answer.

So call I did. And low and behold, they DO have a free checking account! Problem solved and we didn't have to hassle switching accounts and all that means when you pay bills online. I kind of laughed when I got off the phone and realized just how hard God had to wave those red flags to get my attention. He knew I didn't need to switch banks. He knew I loved where I currently banked. And he finally got my attention by divinely appointing another woman to reach the bank at the exact same time as me but walk in the door one step ahead of me. Without that pause in my life, I wouldn't have been in the place to question all that went into that red flag alone.

This made me realize that God really does care about the seemingly insignificant details of our lives--like where we bank. And now I'm asking for my focus to be sharpened even more. Next time I don't want to have to get to Red Flag #6 before I stop and ask, "Is this really the right way?"

1 comment:

  1. I'd like my ears to be tuned too. I wish I didn't have to apply for job after job after job. It seems like such a waste of time. I told God I wish I could just hear Him say - THIS ONE. And that would be that. ;)