It's been so long since I have had an answering machine that I didn't even know what it meant: a small, flashing red light. It could have been flashing for days since I really pay no attention to it. But as I contemplated the flash, it occurred to me that maybe someone had actually called! I poked a few buttons with trepidation, with no idea how this thing worked. Finally, success: "Just touching base," the message said; "I'll call later." And then silence. How odd. No name or phone number. I listened again, hoping that I'd get more information. There was an air of sadness and resignation about the voice, almost like it was an obligation call. The voice had a hint of familiarity too, but in the six brief words, I couldn't really tell. After the fourth time playing back the message, I set the receiver down. I wonder if it was even intended for me?
And this seemingly non-descript event gets me wondering. I wonder if, like the caller, I am just resignedly meeting my obligations. Daily life can be so chaotic. We run around trying to get all of the miscellaneous done. We get so busy that it is challenging to even meet our needs and obligations, let alone our wants and desires. It seems there is always more to do than time to do it. On good days, we make an effort to try to check in with the things and people who are important. I used to call my mom nearly every day, just to see how she was. Even after 18 months, I still miss that routine, and her, terribly. I'd check with the kids at least every few days -- a quick text. But mostly they are too busy or not interested now.
Although all it takes is a simple touch, fulfillment comes from something more sustained.
Am I taking care of all of my needs and striving for my wants? If you take the time to think about your bases, it's more than a game of obligations. Your friends, family, your dreams are all critical to your calling. And of course, you will always start and finish with your faith at home.
It didn't matter who the caller was, or why they were calling, it was still for me. Time to answer the call.