PREPARING TO WORK PHYSICALLY
When I arrived at the radio station the first thing I did was set up the studio. I placed my “prep sheet,” a few reference books and my Bible on the counter to my right. My water and coffee would be within reach on the counter to my left in fifteen minutes, after I made a trip to the kitchen. Just before heading to the kitchen, I positioned and adjusted my chair 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. Besides this, I planned to play a lot of music, make less-than-30-second comments, and definitely not ask listeners to call me. Once my chair was properly configured for comfort I pushed myself back, stood up and headed for the kitchen—through two wooden acoustical doors and one security door—a total of twenty feet from the studio.
In the kitchen I dumped out, from the previous shift, the left over coffee grounds, inserted a new coffee filter, poured in four cups of water, which filled two of my cups, then, scooped in three measured spoons of coffee, closed the holder and switched on the machine. The green brew light glowed. I turned around, stepped over to the refrigerator, opened it and grabbed a bottle of water. When the coffee maker finished gurgling and spitting I poured myself some coffee—in my rinsed out but not washed thermal cup, then shuffled over to the doorway, punched in my security code on the key-pad, opened the kitchen door, balancing my water and coffee, and return to the studio.
PREPARING TO WORK MENTALLY AND SPIRITUALLY
It was five minutes before I would begin my on-air shift. I used the extra few minutes to complain some more about being at 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. I was simply being obnoxious. In a split second it occurred to me, what if the Lord answered me and said, “Why don’t you leave, I’m sure I can find someone to replace you.” After that sobering moment, I didn’t say anything else except, “I’m sorry, please forgive me.” My attitude and heart were adjusted.
I sat in my chair, glanced at the zero-zero on the count down clock indicating 12:00, I reached up and touched the music play list on the center monitor and started the first song of the morning. The sound filled the air, traveled to anywhere our network had a sister station, and was heard by anyone tuned into our frequency. That’s when the red light flashed indicating an incoming call. “Oh!” It startled me. I guess God had different plans than I did. “Thank you for this opportunity, Lord.” I pressed the button and connected the caller to my headphones. Our conversation would only be heard by whomever and me. “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 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, from previous conversations without directly asking, is fifty-something. Joy is a talker.
When Joy forgets to take her medication, Joy can be a challenge. At these times when she calls, she often doesn’t say hello, she just starts talking about whatever is on her mind, and supposes I know what she’s talking about and expects me to keep up. This time I’m listening to Joy’s voice inflection and trying to discern whether she’s taken her medication. I reckoned she has. I’m wrong.
“ … I have an early Doctor appointment at 7:30 and I need for you to pray that I get to sleep so that I can get some rest before I have to leave the house …”
“Okay Joy, I’ll put you on the prayer list …”
“No, no, no, I need you to pray for me now. This is an emergency! Don’t you understand?”
Once, when Joy called, when she remembered to take her pill, I tried to coach her that when she called she should ask, “Do you have a minute to talk?” The intent was that if I didn’t, I’d either put her on hold or give her a time to call back, when I could more easily chat with her. Joy never followed my plan whether she took 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 wasn’t concerned about my needs. “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! Don’t you dare! because you’ll forget about me. You’re just trying to get rid of me …”
“Joy that’s not what’s going on …”
“It is. I can hear it in your voice. You don’t care about my needs.”
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.
“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, calm Joy, 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 she 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 I’m happy I did.