Just this morning I have checked out some area codes found on my cell phone. I discovered that I've received several phone calls lately from persons in SC, MI, NH, and even BC. They do not leave a message. What do we do with these? It goes against my grain not to answer the telephone. Somehow it seems I am being disrespectful. It feels like someone coming to the door of my house and I refuse to answer the door without knowing who is even knocking. It is not the way I was raised. I think: What if it's someone I've met along my life's journey and they are trying to get in touch? Since I've passed out my professional card to hundreds of people from all walks of life while traveling over a million miles, what if it's someone who wants me to come to their area and share the gospel with them? What if...??? a "thousand" questions arise. So why not answer? Because I've had a few calls which were nothing but a machine playing a recorded voice trying to get me to buy something I'm not the least interested in. I've also answered when a persistent salesman/saleswoman on the other end of the line could not understand the meaning of "No!" I've had to get rude, raise my voice, and finally hang up in their mid-sentence. That leaves me feeling as badly as if the person were standing in my living room. I don't know why - but it does.
Technology! I love it. But with it comes it's own set of unique problems. Now you can buy a plan which allows you to place un-limited calls anywhere in the 50 states for a very cheap rate. That's wonderful if you are the person doing the calling. But if it makes us victims of rude and difficult people - it is not so good. Another thought I've picked up somewhere - maybe read in a magazine - how rude the phone has made the normally nice person to be. Go to an office and sit at a desk with someone in business. Or sit in a pastor's office telling him your problems. Right in the middle of an important message you are trying to convey - the phone rings. The person behind the desk (tho he/she may have an answering machine) will turn, pick up the phone, say quietly to you "Excuse me"...and take care of the problem or request of the person calling in. Then they turn back to you with the smile of a Cheshire cat and say "Mmmm... You were saying?" Well now - it's un-fair to say that ALL people behave that way - but FAR TOO MANY do.
So what am I gonna do? Answer the phone even if I don't know who is calling? Or wait and let them leave a message on my answering machine? Or wait until they call back from the same number half a dozen times before answering the phone? Or should I answer at all if I do not recognize the numbers?
Correct me if I'm wrong - but I plan to continue with present policy. I'll look at the phone to see who is calling and if I don't recognize the number or see a familiar name, I will let them leave a message. If they leave a message I may call back.
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- Fred Alton
- Cleveland, TN, United States
- I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.