[you don’t have to pay]

[you don’t have to pay]

Long story, but I’ve got to get it out of my mind… so… you’ve been warned 🙂 There is a lesson to be learned in the end, so you can scroll down 🙂


This week I finally decided to cancel a contract with an internet company. A few years ago, a friend of mine from the States needed internet, so to avoid all the foreign documents procedure, I offered to get the contract on my name. For a couple of years, after she left, I seemingly could not find time to go and return the equipment.

I avoided calls… I did not want to admit that there is this yucky black cloud above my head.

Finally, I got the courage and called them.

A pleasant (and polite!) woman’s  voice answered, “How can I help?”

“I got this text message that I need to call you.”

“Oh. Let’s see…”

“I already paid the bill.”

“Okay. You need to return the equipment this week and you owe the company 529.00 griven.”

I exhaled with relief. I seriously expected that the fine would be much worse. It still was not a small sum to pay, but I just wanted to get rid of this pain in the neck and never think about it again.

Today, I asked for permission to leave the office for a couple of hours and got into the cab, wondering how it will go. I got twice as much money than I was told from the ATM, just in case, and I fully expected to be yelled at or something like that (customer service in Ukraine is not the most pleasant one.)

“Next one, please?” said a handsome young man and looked at me.

I sat on the chair next to his desk, modem box and cables in a plastic bag.

“I want to return the equipment and cancel the contract.”

“Okay. So, let’s see… You have cancelled the contract a couple of years ago, so you just need to return the stuff.” He got the list of equipment up on his computer and turned to me. I presented him with my plastic bag – besides the modem and the tuner, I had no idea what else needed to go.

“Hmm… you’ve got this and this… I don’t see a USB cable.”

“Then I guess there is none. This is all I’ve got.”

“Well, you’ll have to pay a fine for it.”

I mentally added the sum he named to the sum that the lady mentioned on the phone a couple of days ago. Meanwhile, the guy left me for a bit and came back, holding a cable.

“Do you have a cable like this?”

“Well, I do, but not a spare one.”

“I can give you a discount.” The amount he told me was half of the original one. I raised my eyebrows and grinned, “That’s it?”

He smiled, nodded, and proceeded to type up the information about the devices. I waited, watching the TV that was in front of me, and then decided to ask.

“Um… what about the other payment?”

“What other payment?” He stopped typing and glanced at me.

“Well, I was told that I had an outstanding debt of 529.00 griven.”

“But you are returning the equipment. You don’t have to pay anything. Why are you guys all so keen on paying something?”

I think I might’ve stared at him in disbelief. “Really? So that debt – is no longer outstanding?”

“Nope. You don’t owe us anything anymore.”

I regarded the wall ahead of me, still not believing that actually

  1. I was finally done with this contract;
  2. I was not yelled at and it actually was quite a pleasant visit as the guy was nice and fun;
  3. I did not have to pay anything.

That last thing was the one that hit me the most. I will never get tired of saying that God uses odd means to get to our slow brains sometimes. (It wasn’t a talking donkey yet, but it did work.)

The Lesson…

Often, even though I know it’s not necessary (and even wrong), I try to “earn” God’s favor. I keep thinking that I’ve got to “pay” something. That there’s an outstanding debt that is hanging above my head and about to eat me alive. That God won’t like me without me doing something.

Oh, how many times I came to Him, finally getting my courage to show up, fully expecting to be yelled at and punished… only to have Him smile gently at me and say, “Why do you people keep insisting on paying? Jesus already covered the bill and anything else that was necessary.”

And I am left staring in disbelief, grin tugging at the corners of my mouth, wondering whether this is real.

Even after first meeting God so many years ago, I am still surprised every time He accepts me into His embrace.

Jesus paid it all. 

I don’t have to pay anything else. 

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