Don’t you love calling customer care help lines? Yes I am being sarcastic! You get greeted with the options; press 1 for billing, 2 for help with setup etc. Don’t you wish there was a press 3 for ‘I’m really stressed and I want to talk to a human being now or you’re going to lose a customer’ option. The help lines that frustrate me the most are the ones where it is impossible to talk to a real person. Automated messages are okay if you just need general information but when you need a certain response to your specific request, listening to pre recorded messages about your account balance is just stressful.
My most frustrating experience of helplines was calling Orange to ask them to stop the paper billing that I hadn’t asked for but that was costing me £1.50 a month to receive. Every phone option seemed to send with ‘hang up and try our website’. The irony was that there was no option (at that time anyway) to turn off paper billing on their website.
Automated messages don’t talk with you, they are public messages to everyone. They are impersonal and very frustrating at times because they can’t understand who you are or what you need. I just needed someone to turn off paper billing but that darn recording didn’t give me an option for that.
I’m glad that God doesn’t have a helpline. Press 1 to worship, 2 for prayer requests, 3 to listen to God, etc. The Bible says we have direct access to God in prayer and it is amazing that God can hear and process millions of prayers in any one moment. In the film Bruce Almighty, Bruce is trying to hear and respond to all the worlds prayers and it is driving him nuts. He uses a computer system and as he finishes responding to the ones on the screen another few million appear. This gives us a glimpse into who God is and it leaves me in awe of him. He hears our prayers, cares about them and responds to them all whilst running the universe.
God has chosen to reveal himself to us in a personal way. He became human so we could see what God is like in a way that we can comprehend. If we want to understand who God is we just need to look at Jesus, the way he lived and what was important to him. God didn’t send a pre-recorded message, he came in person to show us how to have a relationship with him.
God wants to know us, not put us through a bunch of options before we can get close to him. If Christians were running a heavenly switchboard I wonder if there would be options; press 1 if you are a Christian, 2 if you are not a Christian, 3 if you have faith God will answer, 4 if you would like directions to your nearest church.
Have we made something complicated that is actually really, really simple?
God is our Father and our
prayers conversations with him are ultimately about our relationship with him. God longs to talk to us no matter what box or category we fit into. What will you talk with God about today? Perhaps you will be inspired by the hamster prayer.
Do we talk at people giving them information regardless of who they are or do respect people enough to talk with them, listening and not just speaking.