4 NOVEMBER 2017

ROYAL TELEPHONE

 
Do you like all the ‘new’ technological tools that have come on the market over the past century? So many inventions or improvement of inventions have happened since the beginning of the Industrial Age way back in the mid-1700s that, for some of us, it’s been hard to keep up with the changes. But did you know that today’s technology is not really new? That’s right! Even computers and cell phones are not new inventions of the 20th century! Centuries, even millennia ago, the wisest man in the world wrote: “What has been is what will be. And what has been done is what will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one might say, “See, this is new”? It has already been there since long before us.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 NLV). Some might argue against the idea that people are not coming up with new ideas; however, what are called ‘new’ inventions are really just improvements on old designs! For instance, the first computers were humans; the word ‘computer’ was originally a job title assigned to (primarily) women whose primary job was to perform repetitive calculations. But even before the job title was assigned, as far back as 2700 BC, a system of calculating, similar to an abacus, was developed in Babylon. The abacus is sometimes called the original computer because of one’s ability to figure complex math problems using it. But, once again, long before the design of beads sliding on rods in a rack-like design, stones in slots on a board or in the sand were used by merchants and others to quickly figure complex problems. As a matter of fact, the word calculus, often thought to be the most difficult type of mathematics, originates from a Latin word for stones. What we now call computers are just machines that perform these same functions. Since Solomon lived at least 1800 years after merchants began using that method, it makes sense that he would write that there was nothing new under the sun!

 

Another invention that changed how people communicate is the telephone, or as young people know it, the cell phone. I doubt many Facebook friends remember the old switchboard telephone system, where the operator had to connect you to your desired party. But some, of my mother’s generation, might recall having to ring ‘two short, one long, one short’ to get someone… Maybe, if you are of my generation, you remember the phone booths, rotary dials, and ‘party lines’ when you had to wait for the local gossip to get off the phone before you could make your call? I fondly recall the days of rotary dial phones and party lines. I don’t know how many times I would pick up the phone (to call my boyfriend) and two little old ladies would be chattering away. Or I’d be talking to him (probably for too long) and one would interrupt with, “are you almost done, dearie? I need to make a call!” We had to pay more to get a private line! We never considered the possibility of cordless phones, and then cell phones came along. At first, they were the size of a brick and required a large battery to be carried along wherever they went! Now they are slim nearly the size of a credit card, and the equivalent of mini-computers. We can even “Skype” or “FaceTime” and see our party at the other end which was science fiction in my growing up years! A church marquee this past week caught my eye. It said, “iPod iPad iPhone iPray!”

 

As with computers, conversations over the airwaves have been available since the beginning of time; prayer is the original wireless communication device! Thankfully, our connection to God has ALWAYS been the same! He promises to listen whenever we call; He never puts us on hold! “The Lord is close to everyone who calls out to him, to all who call out to him sincerely.” (Psalm 145:18. CEB). Even before we dial His number, before we know what we are going to say, the Father is listening. “Even before they call out to me, I will answer them. While they are still speaking, I will hear them.” (Isaiah 65:24 NIRV). God hears our petitions before we even finish our requests. He even knows our hearts when we can’t find the words to pray; He even hears our plea even when all we can do is cry! “At the same time the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we don’t know how to pray for what we need. But the Spirit intercedes along with our groans that cannot be expressed in words.” (Romans 8:26 GW). I am so thankful that the Lord designed this Royal Telephone line so that we could stay in touch with Him!

 

This heart song was a favorite of mine as a child. I remember listening to it on old 78-speed records on our record player (long before CDs, MP3s, or streaming):

 

“Central’s never busy, always on the line;
You may hear from Heaven almost any time;
’Tis a royal service, free for one and all;
When you get in trouble, give this royal line a call.

 
REFRAIN:
Telephone to glory, O what joy divine!
I can feel the current moving on the line,
Built by God the Father for His loved and own,
We may talk to Jesus thru this royal telephone.

 
There will be no charges, telephone is free,
It was built for service, just for you and me;
There will be no waiting on this royal line,
Telephone to glory always answers just in time.

 
If your line is grounded, and connection true
Has been lost with Jesus, tell you what to do;
Prayer and faith and promise, mend the broken wire,
’Till your soul is burning with the Pentecostal fire.”

 
“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” (Psalm 55:17 KJV). Have a blessed day!