Monday, April 21, 2014

By The Numbers

Last Spring, I gave in and purchased a cell phone. It really had more to do with my Internet provider and not using my land line much as well as, and this is the big one, saving money! For over six years, I had a pre-paid cell phone that some anonymous benefactor gave me when Dad had a stroke and I never lost it, a victory in itself. The following, from May 31, 2007, is about my reliance on calling cards for log distance service.

My Dollar General phone card ran out last night. Well, it's down to a minute or two so it's effectively dead. If you want the remaining moments, dial 1-800-808-2816 and punch in the PIN number, 0871 723 1450 and the number you wish to dial. It's on me! I don't have a long distance provider and I try to call my folks every night. These cards have 725 minutes on them which last about two months. This evening, I broke in a new one. The easy part is taking a penny and scratching to reveal the pin number. For the first week or so, I keep the card with me when I call but then the inevitable happens. Without realizing it, I've memorized the sequence and I no longer need to peek. Before much longer, I can punch in the numbers without even thinking and can discard the card totally. Then, in about six weeks, the process repeats itself.

My prayer life resembles my involvement with calling cards. At times, the lists of those I pray for on a constant basis becomes an exercise in rote memorization. Even the names on written down prayer lists come to mind before my eye picks them up. I pray for the girls who played basketball for me over the years every day and the only way to do that is with a pattern. But I worry that I say the names without really thinking about them. Have you ever prayed for someone for an extended period of time and when they pass away, you still prayed for them out of force of habit? It's happened to me on numerous occasions. I don't want to throw my lists away because there is no one I consciously want to stop praying for. Sometimes, a crisis is good for our communication with the Lord because it forces us- at least me- to really focus on our pleadings and praise. Maybe, like my phone cards, I need to reorganize my prayer life every several months to keep it from going stale. Maybe I should pray in a different location or with a different posture or perhaps use a different order or at a different time. My understanding is that my idiosyncrasies are not that important to the One on the other end. I don't have to budget minutes with him....and I never forget the number.

Applicable quote of the day:
"What a lot we lost when we stopped writing letters. You can't re-read a phone call."
Liz Carpenter

God bless,

Luke 18:1
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