Turning Off The Ringer

It must be one of Murphy’s Laws. The chances of the phone ringing are directly proportional to the degree I am relaxing. It never fails. That’s why I love the ringer switch on my phone. I can turn it on or off. The same is true of my heart. When our children were very young, I was having one of those days. I was tired and ready for TK Timeout—that period of bliss when I am not interrupted by anyone or anything. Just one problem! With six kids under our roof, TK Timeout did not come easily. There were rooms to clean, teeth to brush, stories to read, and prayers to pray. That night I played drill sergeant instead of dad. I barked my orders: "Kids, pick up your rooms, take a bath, brush your teeth, and get to bed!" Then I sat down to relax.

Just then, my eldest (ten at the time) came up to me. “Dad …” he said. “Daniel, get to bed” I barked! “But Dad …” he started again. “Daniel,” I shot back, “Get to bed now!” As he walked away, he said, “Dad, I just wanted a hug.”  In my heart the phone was ringing, but I had turned off the switch. I had forgotten what God says about love:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a ESV)

Loving people God’s way means turning on the ringer. It means being interrupted and inconvenienced. It means slowing down and lending a hand or a hug! Love involves sacrifice: time, energy, money, and focused attention. Today the phone is going to ring. Don’t turn off the ringer!

FOCAL POINT: Every ringing phone can be your reminder to meet the needs of others. Ask God for his help.

Copyright © 2010 Tommy Kiedis