Union Ridge Church

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

by Reverend Dan on January 4, 2023
Recently I was on the phone part of the day with the customer service department of an insurance company, and part of the day with a governmental agency. (I think those two places are the 3rd and 4th circles of hell described in Dante’s “Inferno,” part of “The Divine Comedy.”) I have a cousin who has recently spent time in the same purgatory as well. He’s trying to get through to his cell provider to let them know he has no service, and all they say is that there is no outage. The problem is, he has to leave his home – where there is “no outage” - to go find service.

Even though the companies thank you for calling, by the end of the call you question if they really meant it when they said, “your call is important to us.” First, I had to hear a digitized voice tell me to “choose one of the following options.” But it wasn’t just once. I had to do this 7 times as it kept sending me to a new list of options based on my previous selection. When I finally got to speak to a human, I was transferred twice because I was in the wrong department and was put on hold 3 times. Don’t get me wrong, the people I spoke with were nice enough and I know it’s not their fault there aren’t enough representatives to help in a reasonable amount of time. And I hate that they catch the brunt of everyone’s wrath. All that is on the company; the higher-ups who make the rules who never seem to be involved in the implementation of the rules. To top it all off, I had to call back the next day to finish getting an answer. I’m old. I don’t have lots of time to spare. I can’t be sitting on the phone all day.

I saw a survey from the magazine “Cost Management” that said people spend more than 13 hours a year on hold in a queue waiting for customer service. I get it. I know there are peak busy times. I know I’m not their only customer. They have a business to run and it’s not their job to be available to me 24/7. However, when I see all the ads about how important the customer is, and that service is their number one priority . . . Seriously?! Once they get your money that promise goes by the wayside. You and your time, like Rodney Dangerfield, get no respect. It seems you have infinitely more value as a prospective customer than you do as an existing one. To me, that entire experience reflects that we and our time are of little or no value.

It's amazing how much we as Christians buy into that mindset; one of the many ways our culture has influenced our faith. We believe that our value is based on how someone else sees or treats us. We take snippets in time from our lives and make them the standard by which view ourselves and allow others to view us. That one bad decision, that one mistake, that one sin; we allow it to become who we are and let it determine the value of our lives based on one moment in time. Don’t do that. Don’t for one second believe the voices around you. Only the One inside you. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” That’s how much value you have. You had sins that you could not atone for, so God did it for you with the life of His Own Son. That is value beyond measure. And your call to God is important. Every time you hit your knees, all of Heaven stands still to listen. When God hears your voice, He stops everything and listens; never put on hold, never transferred. That, too, is a value unparalleled.

Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you, Lord, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Indeed, we are. We are created in the very image of God Himself. That’s our value. Claim it.

Happy New Year.​​​​​​​