...while I was trying to buy lunch.
It happened at Covent Garden a few weeks ago and has happened the last two times I tried to pay for my outrageously expensive travel-card using the touch screen machines. (I guess even Halifax is appalled by the cost of tube travel these days.)
Each time my card was declined I sighed in frustration. Not out of embarrassment, just annoyance really. Because I know
there is money in my account, I know that the fault lies with either the card or the machine. And ultimately, I know I’ll get what I’m trying to pay for whether I have to go to a bank and withdraw money or just try the card machine one more time before it finally connects and the payment goes through. Sometimes my Oyster card isn't recognised when I try to enter or exit a station. That’s ok, I just tap it again. Because I know
that I have money on it so I don’t have to run from the travel police (AKA British Transport Police) because my journey is legit.
I remember a time when I didn't always know if my card would ‘go through’. When I didn't always know how much, if any, money I had in the bank and that was a scary time. Every transaction was a lesson in managing stress and outright panic and the embarrassment when the bank ‘refused the transaction’ often sent me scuttling out of the shop in abject horror.
I think when you have faith in the God who promises “never to leave us or forsake us” (Hebrews 13:5), it’s a bit like my current card declining experience. Like I said, these days, it doesn't matter how many times my card is declined or refuses to process the payment I’m trying to make, because I know that either the machine or my card is in the wrong! Ultimately, even though having my card declined in public is annoying, I don’t worry because I know that I do
have the means to pay for it.
Similarly, when I go through things that stop me in my (life) tracks, things I didn't expect or anticipate, I’m trying to remember that my base, my trust, is in God so I do
have the means to get through the situation and things will
ultimately work out for my good. So even though scary times may come and it may look
like stuff isn't working, I don’t have to worry about the outcome because I know and have faith in the God I serve. And He knows how much money I have in the bank to get me through. (I'm pretty sure He tops it up from time to time too..)
This is something God gives us as a promise: “All things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.
So come on faulty card machines - bring it!