I thought about calling in sick. Only, I wasn’t sick. I just didn’t feel like going to work. But if I hadn’t gone, I would have missed an
opportunity for Joy.
PREPARING TO PHYSICALLY WORK
After walking into the radio station the first thing I did was set up the broadcast studio.
I placed my “prep sheet,” a few reference books, and my Bible on the counter to my right. My water bottle was within reach on the counter to my left.
I positioned and adjusted my chair directly in front of the console (control board) and three monitor screens. I usually opted to stand during my air-shift, but tonight I felt lazy so, I planned to sit.
Also, I decided to play a lot of music, make less-than-30-second comments, and not ask listeners to call me.
Once my chair was properly set, I pushed myself back and stood.
I walked out of the studio and into the kitchen—through two wooden acoustical doors and one security door—maybe twenty feet from the studio.
In the kitchen I stopped in front of the coffee maker. I dumped out the old coffee grounds. I inserted a new coffee filter, poured in four cups of water, which would fill my coffee mug twice. Then I scooped in three measured spoons of coffee, closed the holder and switched on the machine. The green brew light glowed.
Next, I turned around, stepped over to the refrigerator and opened it to see if there was anything worth eating. (Nothing appealing).
When the coffee maker finished gurgling and spitting I poured some coffee. Then I shuffled over to the doorway. On the key pad, I punched in my security code, opened the kitchen door, and returned to the studio.
PREPARING TO MENTALLY AND SPIRITUALLY WORK
I have five minutes before I would begin my on-air shift. I used the time to complain again about coming to work.
“Lord, I think I feel lousy.”
I wanted God to listen to me, but I doubt if God bothered.
Why should God listen? I had no credible excuse for whining.
Suddenly, it occurred to me, what if God said, “Why don’t you leave, I’m sure I can find someone to replace you.”
After this sobering insight, I didn’t say anything else except, “I’m sorry, please forgive me.”
My attitude and heart got adjusted in the blink of an eye.
I sat in my chair and looked up at the count down clock. :57, :58, :59, :00. It’s 12:00 midnight.
I reach up and touch the music play list on the center monitor and start the first song of the new day. Music fills the air, travels everywhere our network has a station, and the sound is heard by anyone tuned into our frequency.
That’s when the red light flashes, indicating an incoming call. Evidently, God intends for me to take calls today.
I press the button and connect the caller to my headphones. The conversation will only be heard by my caller and me unless I push another button on the control board.
“Good morning, thanks for calling, how may I help you?”
“Hi Lee, it’s Joy …”
Joy is a frequent caller. When Joy remembers to take her medication, Joy is metally sharp and fun to talk to.
Joy isn’t a new Christian. In fact, Joy has told me many stories about her parents taking her to church or dropping her off at Vacation Bible school. Joy has been active in church forever.
Joy, from what I’ve been able to determine without directly asking, is fifty-something.
Joy is a talker.
When Joy forgets to take her medication, Joy can be a challenge.
Joy at these times when she calls, often doesn’t say hello, she just starts yaking about whatever is on her mind, and supposes I know exactly what she’s talking about and expects me to keep up.
This time I’m listening to Joy’s voice inflection and trying to determine whether she’s taken her medication. I guess, she has … I’m wrong.
Joy says, “ … I have an early Doctor appointment at 8:30 and I need for you to pray that I get some sleep so that I can get some rest before I have to leave.”
“Okay Joy, I’ll put you on the prayer list …”
“No, no, no!” Joy interupts, “I need you to pray for me now. This is an emergency! Do you understand?”
Once, when Joy called me, when she remembered to take her pill, I tried to coach her that when she called me she should ask, “Do you have a minute to talk?” The intent was that if I didn’t have time I’d either put her on hold or give her a specific time to call back when I could more easily chat with her.
Joy never followed my plan whether she’d taken her medication or not.
“Well Joy I’d be happy to pray for you …”
“Good that’s what I want …”
“But I’m busy right …”
“Too busy to pray?” She objected. “Who can I talk to so I can get some prayer?”
“Joy I …”
“It’s your job, you’re supposed to pray for people when they ask …”
“Joy let me put you on hold for …”
“No! No! Don’t you dare! You’ll forget about me … You’re just trying to get rid of me …”
“Joy that’s not true …”
“It is! I can hear it in your voice. You don’t care about me.”
It was too late for me to open up the microphone and give my scheduled 29-second comment, so I touched the monitor and selected the next song on the play list, sending it to the world.
Then I said, “Okay Joy, let me pray …”
“You’re so rude, I don’t know why I call you at all …”
“Joy, let’s pray …”
“I’m going to call your supervisor and have you fired …”
“Lord Jesus, give Joy your peace that passes all understanding, remind her to take her pill so that she can get some sleep and make it to her doctor’s appointment awake and refreshed …”
Joy slammed down her phone.
I don’t think Joy heard me pray.
REFLECTING ON THE JOY OF WORK
Later, while talking to a co-worker, I said, “It could be that God’s entire plan and purpose for my life is to be available to Joy when she calls and try to be her friend.”
God used Joy to teach me many lessons.
- Lessons in patience.
- Lessons in respect.
- Lessons in growing up.
Do you have a Joy in your life? If so, God has blessed you.
I didn’t feel like coming to work, but now I rejoice I did.