I don’t think it was in the mind of Dr. Bell when he invented the telephone for people like me to be harassed by people who are only after my money. Don’t get me wrong here. The telephone has been a great blessing to many people. But lately, the wrong people have my number.
It ﬁnally came to a head this past week. At least as far as I was concerned.
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I had a very busy week and by Thursday we had accomplished a lot, or at least we thought we had. We had lunch with a very good friend and enjoyed ourselves tremendously.
On our way home from lunch I mentioned the fact to my wife that I was feeling very tired and I probably could do with a Power Nap, as they call them today. She just looked at me and said, “Go ahead and get your nap in.”
Being the husband that I am, I always obey my wife. And so, off to the parsonage I headed to get in a well-deserved, at least I thought it was, Power Nap to rejuvenate what little energy I had left.
Nothing feels better to me than stretching out on my easy chair, closing my eyes and drifting off into Lala land, of which I am a frequent visitor.
I am not quite sure how long I was sleeping, but suddenly I heard a weird noise that awakened me. That weird noise was the telephone ringing. I never know who’s calling and I never know if it might be important, so I answered the phone.
I am so tired of getting telephone calls that just interrupts my day. I get calls from somebody who has a solution for my student loan and how to pay it off. I never went to college and therefore I don’t have a student loan. At my age, if I had a student loan it would be a tragic situation.
The call was from some health agency that had a deep concern about my health. More particularly, they had solutions for pains that I was experiencing.
“I understand,” the person on the other end of the telephone said very businesslike, “that you are having problems with pain in your body.”
I do not know where he got that understanding or why he would be interested in any of my pain.
“No, sir,” I said with a healthy yawn, “there ain’t no pain here.”
“Is there someone in your house,” he went on to say, “that has some back pain?”
Without giving me time to respond, he continued, “I believe you qualify for one of our back braces to help manage your back pain.”
“No, sir,” I said most pathetically, “nobody here has that kind of pain.”
Not hindered in his salesman pitch, he said, “Is there someone in your home that has an ankle pain? I have a wonderful solution that I would like to send you to deal with that pain?”
I still was a little dizzy because of being awakened from my Power Nap that I was not quite able to comprehend what he was talking about. He just kept on talking.
Finally, he said, “What kind of pain does anybody in your household have that we could address today?”
Obviously, he had solutions for pain, but the problem was I did not have any pain for him to address.
I was about to hang up on him when a few gray cells woke up from their Power Nap and nudged me with a thought.
“Now that you mentioned it,” I said as seriously as possible, “there is a pain here that perhaps you could help me with.”
“Yes, sir,” he said most enthusiastically, “we want to help you with all the pain that you might have. How can we help you today? What is your pain?”
“Well, sir,” I said rather slowly, “I have this throbbing pain in my neck. How in the world can you help me with that?”
I noticed his pause at the other end of the telephone. Then I heard the question I was waiting for.
“Where did you get this pain in the neck? And how in the world can I help?”
Without any pause, I jumped in and said, “My pain in the neck is from people like you calling me and disturbing me in my nap.
The only way you can help me is to quit calling me!”
With that click, he cured my pain in the neck. If all pain could be solved that quickly this world would be a much better place I am sure.
A little while later my wife came into the parsonage, took one look at me and said, “Why do you look so happy? Did your nap work for you today?”
“No,” I said with a little giggle, “I just got rid of a pain in the neck.”
I could not help but think of one of my favorite Proverbs. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).
With all the agitation in the world, a person is sometimes tempted to get all caught up with bitterness and anger. I have learned the hard way, that the best way to deal with agitation is to make fun of it so that somebody laughs, particularly me.
[Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www. whatafellowship.com.]