By now, you know I believe in keeping it real. So, I am not ashamed to admit that I have this habit of not answering my phone during certain hours of the day, which works well for me, a person who needs to get an appropriate amount of sleep to be at her best. However, it does not work as seamlessly for callers.
They often tease me about not answering my phone. Some complaints are fear-based, for instance: the caller says they could have been trapped (and only I could get them out). Others are money motivated: the caller jokes about how I could have missed the winning call from the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes.
While some folks would brush those comments off, I take them seriously because I never intend to duck, dodge, or hurt someone’s feelings. Again, I do not answer the phone during certain hours of the day for productivity reasons, and my no-nonsense approach to callers has nothing to do with the caller, personally. But I see how it could appear that way. In fact, I have had more than one of the above reactions to my phone call protocol in the last couple of days, and it made me feel some kinda way.
I had to determine if there was any merit to my feelings.
For as long as I can remember, parents, pastors, and teachers have admonished me to seek wisdom for any problem that needs solving. Well, this morning, as I was reading in the Proverbs for knowledge, three scriptures related to my dilemma caught my attention. Verses 4, 6, and 7 in chapter 19 of the Christian Standard Bible state,
Wealth attracts many friends, but a poor person is separated from his friend…Many seek a ruler’s favor, and everyone is a friend of one who gives gifts. All the brothers of a poor person hate him; how much more do his friends keep their distance from him! He may pursue them with words, but they are not there.”
My first reaction was, “How true.” When you don’t have money, no one cares to take your call because they think you want to borrow some of theirs. But everyone will take a call from someone bearing gifts. I am sure Oprah has no problems getting her calls answered, unless she calls the Queen.
On the only bright side, poor people never have to wonder about the integrity of their friendships. Nobody likes them for their money.
Furthermore, wisdom acknowledges that humans behave according to conditions that they believe are best for them. So it is only natural for callers to feel some kinda way—ignored or rejected — when they don’t get their calls answered. (By the way, it is not wise or polite to keep calling someone once you have called twice and left a message.)
But back to me. Avoiding, ignoring, or rejecting callers is not me. My mind is firmly on productivity and not on anyone in particular. For me, calls are a matter of timing, and I do not take calls from anyone during specific times of the day.
Here’s a little secret, since focus is priceless to me, I turn the ringer off, put my phone on Sleep mode, and turn it face down so I am not distracted by the rich or the poor, those near or those far away. Why? Because my writing lifestyle requires intense concentration (and power naps) to complete the magnitude of projects I have on my heart.
So dear callers, if you don’t get your call answered when you call, it is not because I think you’re my broke brother-in-law. I know better than the jugheads in verses 4,6, and 7—plus I memorized verse 17, which states, “Kindness to the poor is a loan to the Lord, and He will give a reward to the lender.” And I like God’s rewards.
No, the primary reason I did not (and do not) answer your call is that this sister did not hear you call.
The unfortunate matter for me is that now I have several calls to return, and yours may not be returned as quickly as you like. But at least you know it’s not about you or your financial statement, and when we speak you will have my undivided attention.
Please feel free to LOL and share this bit of wisdom with your friends and family who don’t always understand why you cannot answer your phone when they ring. Blessings. XO
ReallyLeah’s UnHotMess Series 1 for 2021