Earlier today I had a phone conversation with an old friend. Well, SHE is not old, but we’ve been friends for more years than I intend to put on paper in this post. We go for long stretches of time in between our phone conversations and the days are even longer in between personal visits, but our relationship is grounded in many common bonds—not the least of which is our mutual relationships with God. Our prayers for each other are numerous and regular. Our friendship is stronger than ever before. When we finally connect by phone, her husband calls our long conversations a “phone party.” I love it! Our conversations are never complete without encouraging words, times of shared trials and triumphs, prayer requests and, finally, prayer. We may have “phone parties”, but we never just “phone it in” on this friendship that has been years in the making.
Phoning it in…I think everyone has done it at least once. You know, getting to that place where you become so comfortable in what you’re doing that you don’t always give it your complete focus. Your mind begins to wander and yet your hands continue to complete the tasks ahead of you. You may have even gotten to the end of your day—or arrived at your destination!—and suddenly realized that you have little to no recollection of how you got there. Phoning it in. Yep, that sounds about right.
I thought about that phrase on Sunday when my Sunday School teacher made the following statement: “You can’t inspire others and get them excited about God…if you aren’t.” Nick is right. No matter whether you’re an engineer, a teacher, a nurse or a “whatever else” you might be, phoning it in on the job might occasionally occur, but bigger problems come when we do that as Christians. (Oops! I might have struck a nerve there.)
You see, I know that can happen…because it’s happened to me. I let it happen. Nobody else to blame for it. Just me.
We can get busy doing all the right things: going to church, reading our devotional books, singing the songs, praying before the meal, signing up for all the mission trips or service projects listed in the Sunday bulletin, listening to all the “right” music and all the “right” teachers…and forget to do the most important thing of all. What’s that, you ask? Develop a personal relationship with God.
That isn’t something you can just phone in and expect it to still work. Building a relationship takes time. It takes commitment. It takes your personal attention. Those things are still true when you’re talking about building a relationship with God. You can spout what you’ve heard about Him, but when your life gets really hairy, it takes more than head knowledge to give comfort, supply peace and show a direction based in wisdom.
My point for today is this: take a look at your walk with Christ and see if there are areas where you may have been phoning it in lately. Take care of your walk with Christ first and then reach out to others in your life who may need more than just the “busy signals” you’ve been sending their way.