Dr. James L. Snyder
I am old enough to remember those days when there was nothing like cell phones. Oh, those quiet, golden silent days. At the time, I did not realize just how wonderful that time was.
Every time you needed to make a phone call, you had to go to where a phone was. Those were the days of the telephone booth. Remember those? That's were Clark Kent turned into Superman. We don’t have Superman today because there are no telephone booths.
I well remember the day I bought my first cell phone. I hesitated because I enjoyed my quiet time. However, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage was enthusiastic about getting cell phones. That way, she could call me whenever she wanted.
I thought that was rather nice, and we went out and bought our first pair of cell phones. But it took me a little bit of time to learn how to operate this new technology. Unfortunately, at the time, I had no grandchildren who could walk me through this process.
All went well for the first couple of years. Then, a new phenomenon developed. My cell phone was ringing all the time. Most of the time, from some silly old telemarketer trying to sell me something I didn’t need and certainly didn’t want.
How they got my number, I have no idea. As far as I am concerned, it is all a scam.
Then a certain idea hit me. If these people were calling and wasting my time, why not use it to waste their time?
It did not take me long to have a little bit of fun out of these people calling me.
If it was a recorded message, I hung up right away. After all, you cannot talk to a recorded message.
But, if it was a real person, then my table had been set. I found delightful ways of frustrating them and wasting their time. After all, isn’t that their business?
For example, they always ask, “How are you doing?”
That seems like a very simple and innocent question. I know, and so do you, they have no interest in finding out how I am. They are setting me up for sales talk.
I then had an idea. I know it is not often I have an idea, but when I do, boy, is it an idea. When they asked me how I am, I tell them in all the monotonous detail I can think of at the time. I go on and on how bad my day is and how terrible life feels. Then there is that familiar "click," and they've hung up on me.
After all, they asked how I was doing, and I was simply responding to their question.
Another ruse I use is when they ask me how I am, I say, "I'm terrible." To which they respond by saying, "That's nice…" and go on with their sales pitch.
I am not multilingual, but I can speak gibberish better than anybody I know. At least, that’s what my wife tells me. So, if I have this talent, why not use it?
The first time I used this gibberish language, the person on the other end said, "Speak English, please." To which I continued with my gibberish. They repeat their request, and I continue with my gibberish. Finally, there comes that familiar sound I look forward to, "Click."
My wife is very annoyed when she receives any of these telemarketing calls. She demands her number taken off the list and right now!
I take a different view. Like they used to say, if life gives you lemons, then make lemonade. So, I make telemarketing lemonade as often as I can.
I must confess I have enjoyed some of these telemarketing calls.
One call was for pain in my body. Someone sent in my name, reporting that I had pain in my body, and they had a medicine that could help me with all my pain.
“Where do you have pain in your body?”
“Well,” I said as seriously as possible, “I have this terrific pain in my neck.”
This information excited the telemarketer, and he wanted to know how I got this pain and where it came from. To which I said, "My pain in the neck comes from people like you calling me every day."
I look forward to those calls.
Then, the other day I got a strange call on my cell phone. I looked to see who was calling, and to my surprise, it was me. It was my name and phone number that showed up on my cell phone screen. I was calling myself.
I cannot tell you how anxious I was to talk to myself. I was going to give myself a piece of my mind. Of course, it would be good to talk to myself about certain things.
So, I answered the phone. “Hello, Pastor Snyder, how in the world are you?”
To my great disappointment, it was not me calling me. Rather, it was some telemarketer wanting to know how much my electric bill was each month.
I remember what David said, and he did not have a cell phone. "Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live” (Psalm 116:2).
I do not need a cell phone to call God because I have put my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and I now am connected with God.
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.