Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion for May 4, 2016


Moving to a new location can be exiting.  Very exciting - learning new places; learning new people; experiencing new activities; just a different culture; different weather.  It is jollification (yes that really is a word!) to become acquainted with the next phase of life.  
But with all the pleasures of moving and learning and the fun (that is what jollification means!), moving also has those details that negate the warm and fuzzy enjoyable aspects of the move.  Queries like finding a new doctor and a new dentist and a new place to get your hair cut and which local spot has the best burgers in town can be a little daunting, but this quest is nothing compared to the chore of those necessary utilities that have to be turned off in one place and added at another place and you are required to talk to a representative at each of the utilities at each end of your moving…… or at least attempting to talk to a representative.
What has made our personal need for utilities complicated is that we still own our home from which we moved and even though it is on the market to be sold, we are required to keep the utilities hooked up.  My husband is traveling back and forth and he would like to have some water and heat and such when he is staying there as well.  
All of our utility payments are the automatic out of your checking account payments (which is great for those of us who sometimes forget important items such as bill payment…..) and the complication came when we switched our bank account to our new location and therefore the chore of switching all those utility payments from the old checking account to the new one….  This is one of those chores that tests the patience of the most patient.
After lots of work and words muttered under the breath we thought this drudgery had been accomplished.  That is until the old bank contacted us that even though our account was closed the one utility (who by the way was taking payments out of the new account as well) was still trying to take money out of the old account.  It was definitely a grrrrr moment.
Back to trying to straighten this all out.  Picked up the phone, called the number the website told me to call if I had a problem.  “Thank you for calling our utility.  Your call is important to us.”  Sounds encouraging doesn’t it?  Sounds like they really want to talk to you doesn’t it?  
But after the sweet greeting, comes “If you want to talk to person who deals with emergencies press 1.  If you want to talk to the person who deals with everything else press 2.”  Two was pressed. 
“If you want to talk to the person who can help you press one.  If you want to talk to another person who can help you with something different press 2.  And on through option 7”  I truly wasn’t sure where my particular question fit in, so I hit zero which sometimes will work to get you through the maze of numbers…. no luck.  
I punched another number and was presented with a lot of other options and punched numbers which gave me other options.  Without exaggerating, it was punching buttons for over ten minutes before by accident I punched one which said:  “Please hold for the next available person…”  I was ecstatic.  I may actually get to talk to a real person….. when the next voice I heard was, “We are experiencing a large volume of calls.  Please call back.”  And the line went dead…….  I truly wanted to cry.
So often we see prayer almost like this automated maze of phone calls.  We see prayer is just as intimidating and scary as trying to call a utility company.  We think that we have to say the right words at the right time in the right order - like having to chose which option to press to get our problem taken care of.  
We worry that when we pray God is not really there - certainly he is off talking to someone else who has a greater need than me or is a better person than me or God doesn’t want to hear my problems again….. 
Or maybe we worry that if God really does listen, the answer won’t be what we wanted it to be (sort of like my please call back response on my phone call).  
So instead of risking all the questions we have about praying, we just don’t do it.  I admit, it took me a while to risk calling back to the utility company. 
Praying to God is not a maze of ‘doing it right’; it is not a test of having to say the correct words or having to say them in the right order;  it is not a chance encounter where we have to worry about whether God will hear us or if he’s off on another call;  
Never worry about the risk.  Prayer is just whatever is in your heart poured out to the one who knows you better than you know yourself.  Prayer is offered to the one who is always listening to you; it always attuned to you.  The one who will answer on the first ring and never put you on hold or require you to go through a maze of questions or will hang up because he is too busy.  
Yes, I finally got my utilities straightened out - with a lot of time and stress….. And it is great to know that I can talk to my God any time any place about anything - with ease!


These devotions began in 2006 as a way to give us a midweek boost as we live out our lives as the people of God!  Feel free to share them if you wish.