Menus, Runarounds, and VIPs

Photo by Alex Andrews from Pexels

Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. —Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV

Making a phone call to a business these days has become a traumatic event. For me anyway. If I don’t get a canned voice telling me to “listen to the following menu options” and press this or say that to indicate what I’m calling for, I get the runaround.

I just hate it when I press the appropriate number and get still another confounded menu. While a recorded message spews out numerous choices, I stare at piles of work clamoring to get done and hear precious, unused seconds tick away. All too often, none of the selections relate to what I’m calling about, and there’s no option to speak to a breathing, thinking person.

“I want to talk to a real, live human being!” I once shouted into the phone.

“I’m sorry,” the pleasant, disembodied voice on the other end responded. “I do not recognize your answer. Will you repeat it, please?”

Yeah, I’ll repeat it, I thought, slamming down the phone, and a whole lot more.

Then there’s the old runaround. One time I called the financial aid office of my son’s college (for the third time in two weeks) to ask where our way-overdue refund check was. They politely patched me through to the business office, which tried to pass me back to the financial aid office. When that didn’t work, the nice lady on the other end told me the check was coming out of Rhode Island.

“Rhode Island?” I sputtered, trying not to scream.“That’ll take another week!”

“I understand your frustration,” she said, trying to calm me down.

She didn’t get it. That wasn’t what I wanted to hear. What I wanted to hear was, “I’ll find out where your check is and get right back to you.”

But how rarely that happens these days.

Fortunately, God doesn’t use menus and screens, human or angel, to keep people from getting through to Him. He invites and even welcomes our calls to Him—and promises to answer.

“Call to Me, and I will answer you” (Jeremiah 33:3).

“Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you” (Psalm 50:15).

“Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7–11).

He hears and answers because He cares intensely for each one of us. In His eyes, you are not merely a complaining voice at the other end wanting something. You are His child. He yearns to hear from you and lavish you with His love and care.

So call Him.

In today’s high-tech world, where it’s nearly impossible to get through to the person who has the power to help us, it’s good to know that the most important VIP of all is only a prayer away.

Evening and morning and at noon, I will pray, and cry aloud, and You will hear my voice. Thank you, Lord! Amen. (Psalm 55:17)

Read and reflect on Nehemiah 2:1–8.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

For the LORD gives wisdom . . . he holds victory in store for the upright. – Proverbs 2:6, 7 NIV

I love baseball!

I often think how guidelines to playing the game translate into wise counsel for living life victoriously. Here, in no particular order and listed as they came to me, is some of the advice I heard my husband give my son during our baseball years:

Keep alert. Be ready for that ball to come to you. Anticipate the next play. The same is true in life. Much comes bouncing, flying straight at you when you least expect it. “Stay alert,” the apostle Peter wrote, “keep a firm grip on the faith” (1 Peter 5:8 The Message).

Listen to your coach. Know the signs and heed them. He’s the coach for a reason—he knows more than you about the game and he sees what you, in your position on the field, can’t. He wants you to overcome the opponent and come out on top. In life, “trust in the LORD and do good,” (Psalm 37:3), for in heeding Him “there is great reward” (Psalm 19:11). (Don’t forget Isaiah 55:8–9.)

Back up your pitcher. Support your team members. I remember the wife of David’s Little League coach cheering for the team to “talk it up out there.” The coach didn’t want silence on the field—he wanted to hear them encouraging each other. And don’t expect the pitcher to do it all. No matter how well he’s pitching, he needs some run support from the rest of the team if they want to win the game. “Encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Bad calls are part of the game. There’s nothing you can do about them. Arguing, whining, and letting it affect your attitude the rest of the game won’t help you or the rest of the team. Shrug it off. Life isn’t fair, either. Forget what’s behind you and press on to what’s ahead (Philippians 3:13–14).

Rain delays are part of the game, too. Sometimes you find yourself in a waiting period. You can’t stop the rain, but you can use the time to practice patience. (Psalm 37:7, Isaiah 40:31)

You win some, and you lose some. Cut your losses, learn from them and don’t let your wins get to your head. Instead, work on your weaknesses and don’t let pride nullify what strengths you have. (Proverbs 16:18).

Training is necessary, painful, and stretches you beyond your limits. But it also builds strength and character. The difficult things you face in life are the training ground God uses shape you into the person He wants you to be. (1 Corinthians 9:24–29)

Put on your game face. Attitude can make or break you. Like the renowned catcher Yogi Bera said, “Ninety percent of the game is half-mental.” So it is in life—what you think, what goes through your mind day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute—can be the determining factor in winning or losing, in overcoming or succumbing.  (Romans 12:2; Philippians 4:8–9)

You can do a lot on two outs. “The game isn’t over until it’s over” (Yogi Bera). Or in the words of the late Winston Churchill: “Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.”

And in the words of St. Paul: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

 Help me, Lord, be to wise enough to heed Your guidelines. Amen.

Read and reflect on Proverbs 2:1–11.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.