Friday, October 9, 2015

Want a God-Encounter? Call Revenue Canada!

It all began with a box of books.
The tracking info showed that they were to be delivered to my door last Friday before the end of the day.  No books arrived, and the tracking information changed to 'delivery status not available'.  I thought they would get it sorted out by Monday ... but no, Monday came, still no tracking info available and no books.  I finally called and was told the books were waiting customs clearance.  Okay... I guessed they'd get it sorted out!
Then later in the afternoon I got a call from the head office of the courier company my box of books had been shipped with.  I was told that to get my books I needed an import number.  Really?  I had never needed one before - but apparently I had got a 'letter-of-the-law' picky customs officer who looked at the box and thought, "Hmm... 60 books? no way is this lady buying them to put on her shelf ,.. smacks of retail to me!"  and he refused to clear them for delivery.
The courier agent was very nice and told me he would send me the forms I needed to fill out, would even highlight in yellow the parts I needed to address and the phone number to call for an import licence number from Revenue Canada.  He would send them out in five minutes - which, true to his word, he did.

I got the forms .. looked them over ... and decided that since I didn't really have a choice, I might as well call Revenue Canada and see what I needed to do.  So I dialed the number.  Wow... I listened to the automated messages, then got linked into the options list that went on and on, none of them addressing an import number ... finally! I was told to press a number to speak to a live agent.  I pressed the number quickly, before the next option was presented, but instead of 'exiting' to a live agent I was sent round the option loop again.
Somewhat frustrated by this time,  I interrupted the loop and just pressed the number I had been given to speak to a live agent...
This time a gentle voice responded, "Hello, how may I help you today?"
 I briefly explained that I was an author, was expecting a box of books that had been held up at customs and could not be released unless I had an import number.
 He questioned, "How many books?"
 I told him, sixty.  He laughed and said, "They held up a box of only 60 books? I'm an author too, I've never had a problem!"
I asked.. "I got a picky officer?"  
"Boy, did you ever!" he chuckled .. then said .. "But that's ok, I can give you an import number."
 I had at one time had a GST number so he said he could activate that and add the import number to it.
Then he asked, a little hesitantly, "What's your book about?"
 Thinking he wouldn't really care, I answered somewhat non-committal, "Oh, its a children's chapter book."
 "Oh," he replied.
 I could hear him talking to himself as he was filling out the necessary paperwork .. and I decide to ask in turn  ...  "What is YOUR book about?"
 He replied as non-committal as I had .. "Oh, its a religious book!"
I wasn't sure what 'religious' meant but I decide to jump !  "oh, so is mine! I have two , the first is an allegory on the fruit of the Spirit and the sequel is an allegory on the treasure of the kingdom."
 Well,  we soon found we were very much on the same page - fellow believers, fellow authors and we had a great conversation.
  I had also caught him at the end of his shift, so our conversation was on his own time ... Then he said it had been nice talking to me and I could tell he was going to end the call ... I quickly said .. "OHHH WAIT WAIT!!"
 He said, "yes?"  and I said, "You never gave me a number!"
 So we shared a chuckle and finished the 'unimportant' part of the call.
He told me that there were 250 agents that could have taken my call - and I suddenly understood why I took that extra loop around the options list -  God orchestrated the timing so that I got not only a Christian but a fellow author. The encounter was God-planned!   Of course we exchanged the names of our books.

His book is called Grow Up! by Robert Perreault.  I ordered it and read it - it is a very good book,  addressing the steps to maturity and a deeper relationship with the Lord.  The book came out of a vision that Lord gave him on the church parking lot ... and then God told him to go teach what He had given him.   The book is written in an easy to read style and its message is life changing for a new believer and also for those of us who have been Christians for many years.   The book is insightful and heart-hitting with the message of how important it is for believers to 'grow up' and not stay stuck playing church and doing the right 'religious' things ... God wants so much more !  I recommend it for anyone who wants an inspirational good read that has 'food' to grow on.


Judy said...

What a great story, Julie? What are the 'chances'? Thanks for sharing both your encounter and the book recommendation with us.

Marg said...

Thanks for sharing the never know whether stuck in an election line-up, grocery line-up, or calling a revenue agent....our conversations can be meaningful.
You were poked and you responded. Amen!

Anonymous said...

wow, I like reading 'God stories' like this one!

Lovella ♥ said...

It's just an amazing God encounter. Who would ever dreamt up a story like this? I love that this day it was your reality.