I recently went through my cell phone and changed around my speed dials. What was supposed to be a tedious, organizational task though, turned into a pretty eye-opening experience.
I realized why I’d been avoiding the task for so long. Changing who is on speed dial is a more tangible way of prioritizing people. When I thought of this, I was instantly hesitant to make changes. I could leave my speed dial lineup the way it was, but it wouldn’t change the reality that there are some people I don’t call anymore, some people I call more often, and new people who fit somewhere in that mix too.
I like to think that my speed dials are pretty practical. My voicemail is speed dial 1, because it’s just easier for me to access that way. My mom is speed dial 2. But she might as well be 1, because she’s the first actual person on speed dial. She’s one button away from me, her prodigal college daughter, who often needs to know how to wash a certain fabric. “Home” is my third speed dial. And lately, the term “home” is becoming more ambiguous. I live out of state for college, but I still consider my parents’ house “home.” I sometimes wonder what I’ll call that number when I get married one day and have my own home. Will it simply say “Mom and Dad?” One can only hope
The rest of my speed dials after 3 are a mixture of numbers I call often. Good friends, family members like Grandma, my siblings, a wise youth leader, and less personal numbers like work or the financial aid office.
When I was a kid, back in the days of landline phones, our family had a phone with a nifty section of buttons for speed dials. They were color coded. Red was 9-1-1, blue was Poison Control, green was Grandma, and the others were things like our neighbors, family members, and the pediatrician. My parents assigned the speed dials the way they did for convenience and safety–for themselves, babysitters, and us kids. Anyone who looked at our phone would know what was important to our family.
My speed dials say a lot about what, and who, I value in life. Reorganizing my speed dials after a year says a lot about what has changed in my life. Some relationships have dried up, some have sprung to life. As I assigned and unassigned numbers, I couldn’t help but feel the nostalgia and guilt that comes with new chapters in life.
One thing I’m learning though, is that God wants us to have new chapters. He’s not done with us. Moving on in life is hard. It means letting go of things, letting go of people, and finding new things, new people.
In the midst of reorganizing things in our lives, we feel the pressure and guilt of “fitting God in” somewhere. Sometimes I try to do it with church events or 30 minute quiet times in the morning. But those scheduled things are never quite enough.
The cool thing about God is that He transcends all of our earthly priorities. We don’t have to fit Him into our schedules or speed dials if He is already everything to us.
He makes all of those chapters easier to adjust to. He helps us let go when we need to.
Matthew 20:16 says,
So the last shall be first, and the first last, for many be called but few chosen.
Many called. Few chosen.
Sounds a lot like a phone with speed dials