I am beginning to feel like a switchboard operator – for myself. I have two mobile phones: one for work and one for friends and family so I can switch off from work when I need to. I also have a landline (yes, young people, some telephones work through wires!). And just occasionally while I am speaking on one phone a call will come through on another one. And occasionally while I am speaking on a phone I will get a notification that someone else is trying to contact me on that phone too.
I am not sure of the etiquette in those circumstances. Is it acceptable to say to the person with whom I am speaking, “Please could you hold while I answer the other call?” and then say to the second caller, “Please can you hold while I finish the first call?” And what happens if, while that is happening, I get another call? It’s not something I have ever received training about.
I tend to let any second calls go to voicemail and call them back if they want me to, rather than interrupt the first call with the second one. I try to give my attention to one person at a time. It seems fairest and politest.
As you may have realised this happened to me earlier today, which is what made me reflect on it. And it also reminded me of a scene in Bruce Almighty where Bruce, who has been given God’s job for the week, is inundated with prayers all coming at the same time and can’t cope. The amazing thing about prayer is that God gives all of them his undivided attention. He can do that (even simultaneously) because he is God and he can multi-multi-task! You won’t be put on hold with a message that says, “Your prayer is important to us so please hold,” with angelic muzak being played while you wait. You won’t have to negotiate one of those infuriating ‘press 1 for…’ menu systems. You get straight through.
So why do we wait? Why do we put ourselves on hold? Why do we think that our prayers won’t matter or won’t be heard?
Be blessed, be a blessing