Like most of us, I have been inundated with spam calls and people who seem to be overly concerned with my car warranty – wanting to make sure that I am covered in case anything happens that would require a major repair. Lately, I have also had conversations with people who want to make sure that I have the best possible Medicare supplemental policies and even more recently, the electric company wants to give me a $50 bonus for never having been late on a payment. Sure they do…
Clearly, I am tired of the calls… You never know what is real and what is a scam in order to commit fraud. I have been accused of jumping bail, failure to appear in court for some infraction that they wanted me to “pay a fine” for and, of course, the ongoing calls from Amazon telling me that someone has “bought” a phone on my account. They want me to go through some long process to deny the purchase and login to a site they control to report the fraud. Sure…..
So it was with some trepidation that I found myself at the mercy of someone purporting to be from Amazon yesterday. You see, Janet is an avid reader. Throughout the years, she has used an Amazon Fire Tablet that finally died last year. We ended up buying her another one last August. In fact, she rarely even uses it because the battery won’t hold a charge.
Anyway, I was trying to get in touch with customer service and with fifteen seconds my phone rang. Someone, whose name was Gil, reported that he was from Amazon customer service and was here to solve my problem. I was very doubtful that he could do anything to help, even skeptical, but within a minute, he said that he was running remote diagnostics on our Fire and said that it needed to be reset to the factory settings… I was, of course, wary…
While he was “working” on my “problem”, we got to talking and Gil finally let me know that there wasn’t enough battery power left in our Fire to reset it. It was a little freaky that they knew so much about our business without having provided him any information. So he made an “appointment” to call me in 4 hours to make sure that I had completed the reset. I let him know that it was 12:54 by the clock on my wall – he told me that he was also at 12:54. Wow, in the same timezone – for once.
A moment later, it turned out that Gil was speaking with me from the Philippines – exactly twelve hours ahead of us on Eastern time. The connection was perfect and I would have never known I wasn’t speaking with somebody next door – but he deals with so many people from America that his shift runs from 11:00 p.m. to 7 a.m. That’s just the way that they do it over there.
To cut to the chase, he really did call me back at 5 p.m. my time – 5 a.m. his time. I was impressed. We had a great conversation and his factory reset seems to have solved our issue, at least for now. The exchange gave me more hope about people who genuinely want to serve and to help. Amazon went up another notch in my my book – great customer service. And I was speaking with real folks – not some spam operation.
I couldn’t help but be reminded how communication has really made our world much smaller. It no longer takes days or weeks to communicate with someone on the other side of the earth. But that wasn’t always the case. Back at the time of Jesus, the known world was much smaller than we know it to be today. Jesus, in what we know as the Great Commission, commanded his disciples to preach the Good News to the ends of the earth.
That is our verse for tonight. The apostle Matthew tells us, in his gospel, in Matthew 28:16, “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
My encouragement this evening is that Jesus wants us to evangelize and make others aware of the Kingdom of God at every opportunity. For some of us, that is difficult, because not everyone is wired to do that. But we all have spiritual gifts and can use them in some way to advance God’s agenda. My prayer is that we will use our strengths to help people learn about the Creator, His Son and all that He has offered to us – even if we are speaking to people halfway around the world. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace – and thank you Gil, it was a pleasure to meet you!