Monday, April 6, 2015

Press 1 for Answers to Prayer

            It is frustrating to make a phone call and get trapped in the endless automated system. Hearing the robot lady’s voice say over and over:
Press 1 for this.
Press 2 for that.
Press 3 to leave a message.
Press 4 to return to the main menu.

            She asks for my account number, but then when a real live customer service rep  answers they ask for the number again, like it was just a stall tactic by the robot lady. I have started immediately saying, “customer service rep” as soon as the robot lady starts speaking. Even then she will say, “I understand you want to speak to a customer service rep. If your question is about this, press 1. If it is about that, press 2.” Aaugh!
            Recently I was at the hospital for my son’s surgery. They needed me to call my insurance company and find out what I owed. It seemed like a simple request, surely there was a simple answer.
            First, my husband called. I could tell by his deliberate answers he was talking to the robot lady. After 20 minutes he gave up and said it was my turn. I called. I answered all the robot lady’s questions just like he did. Finally, I tried to override her and said,
“Customer service! Customer service! Customer service!”
Somehow this baffled the robot lady and she sent me back to the main menu.
“If this is a medical emergency, hang up and dial 911.”
“If this is a mental health emergency, press 1.”
            That was interesting. They must have added the mental health option, because after being on hold for 20 minutes they knew there would be a mental health emergency.
            Finally, she said, “You are caller number 14. Press 1 to leave a message and someone will call you back. Press 2 to continue holding.”
Since this was not my first rodeo with the robot lady, I knew better than to leave my number. I tried that before and nobody ever called back. I lost my place in line and had to call again and wait another 20 minutes.
            Sometimes I think we view prayer like that. We call God and we want to:
Press 1 to have a good day
Press 2 to bless the food.
Press 3 for help on a test.
Press 4 for God to be with us.
Press 5 for a close parking spot.
And if we have a bigger request we become frustrated when we have to wait longer than 20 minutes for the answer.
            Prayer is so much more than that. God is not a robot guy dispensing immediate answers. Prayer is talking to our heavenly Father who loves us more than we can understand, about things that truly matter to us. It should be like a continuous conversation with our best friend. It is more about our relationship with God, our love for Him, our reliance on Him, and our faith in Him than it is about Him blessing our food.
            I never did get through to a real person that day in the hospital. No doubt they will bill me what we owe for the surgery. Thankfully, God never puts us on hold or makes us wait to get through to Him. He is always with us, always hears us and truly cares about the details of our life.
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14
Don’t you love that God always hears us when we talk to Him?

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