I was working in my office upstairs at home this morning and the phone rang. It was a telemarketer. Now we have caller id, and Janet never likes to speak with these folks who are trying to sell us something. She gets annoyed and just lets the phone ring and ring. I’m kind of the opposite. I have taught sales training all over the country and I kind of find a strange sense of satisfaction in speaking to these folks to see how good their sales skills are. Mind you, I am not a good prospect for the people who bother us, and I always let them know that I am not a candidate for their products or services, but that hardly ever stops them from trying to sell me.
For example, today the sales pitch was for some dictation software that could convert the spoken word into text. Some years back I actually tried to use that kind of software for some of my work and I got more frustrated that you can imagine. I decided that I would get rid of the software, which I did, and vowed to not use it again. So there was absolutely no way that I was going to get suckered into buying the latest and greatest version. But I have to admit, the sales lady knew her stuff and continued to try to overcome my objections. To cut to the end of the story – no sale.
The last several weeks, we have had a tremendous increase in the number of calls that we are receiving from telemarketers. I was beginning to think that we must have fallen off the no-call list. So I checked with the state and also the national list – our names were still on both of them. So I confess that I don’t know why we are getting bothered so much. But just to be sure, I re-enrolled on every list that I could find and now I have to play the waiting game for another ninety days to see if it makes any difference when the new lists are made known to telemarketing companies.
The reason that I am writing about this tonight is that it was exactly 10 years ago today, in 2003, that the no-call lists became a reality. The statistics are quite interesting. According to a survey done after the new laws were implemented, the average home that had received an average of 30 calls per month saw a decline to fewer than 6 calls per month. Non-profits were still allowed to make calls and surveys were still fair game. There were even law suits when companies calling to take surveys would ask at the end of the questioning whether they could follow up with an additional call. Of course, the second call, with the permission of the homeowner, was a sales call. The government successfully got the practice banned, even though there were lawsuits on both sides that tested the constitutionality of the new laws.
Unfortunately, there are a number of people who put God on the no-call list. That’s a shame. We serve a God who pursues us and doesn’t even need a phone to do it. But it amazes me how many people are out there who just don’t want to have anything to do with God. What a sad existence that must be. I never remember a time in my life when I didn’t go to church and believe in God. The verse for this evening is from John 17:12, “While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.” And of course, the one who was lost was Judas – who betrayed Christ to the soldiers.
My encouragement this evening is to let you know that God has your number and He wants you to answer when He calls. My prayer is that you will encourage others to answer the call as well. And when you need Him, just call out. You won’t need your phone. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…