You’ve seen her, haven’t you? Juggling a cigarette, cell phone and coffee mug, she makes a turn at a busy intersection. Unaware that anyone else is around, she takes way too long to maneuver the turn, and we miss the green light. People who use their cell phones while driving cause accidents that could otherwise be avoided. While hands-free devices make turning easier, there is little focus and concentration on driving.
Although signs are posted in restaurants, doctor’s offices and other places of business requesting customers or patients to turn off their cell phones, people still use them. Imagine the frustration of a medical assistant ready to take a woman’s blood pressure who refuses to get off her cell phone. Then the same woman becomes furious because the doctor takes another patient who is not on a cell phone.
Cell phones have become a menace as much as a help to business. Every employee seems to have one, and when it rings, it holds priority over the business phone, usually for personal calls. Musical rings and vibrations that sound like an old man snoring bring distractions to the workplace environment. However, if the vibrating phone is on the person, the snoring sound isn’t audible. The employees may not even be talking, but text-messaging their friends. They do this openly at their desks, in the copy rooms or lunch rooms.
Employees have also developed a fascination for their e-mail and the Internet. People who work at computers cannot resist the cute little pop-ups that let them know their friends have sent them a message. While they are working on their computers, it’s easy for them to jump off the data entry screen and click on the friendly pop-up to respond. Countless hours of productivity are lost through this seemingly secret mode of communication. While employees sign agreements that they will not abuse company time and equipment, it happens way too often.
Something needs to change. What will it take to encourage people to change their focus from themselves long enough to perform an honest day’s work? Since I work in this kind of environment, and I feel that it’s an impossible situation, I began to pray for change. Strangely God didn’t change the people who abuse the system. He started with me. “What can I do?” I asked Him. This is what He said: “You asked to be a blessing to someone today. Be a blessing to them.”
Well, I wasn’t ready to be a blessing to them, but I didn’t want to say “no” to God, so I waited, and He showed me these three things: (1) Don’t judge them, (2) Be gentle and merciful to them, and (3) set a good example for them to follow. “This is hard,” I told God, and then I thought about Judas betraying Jesus with a kiss. Although change is important, cell phone and e-mail abuse seemed small compared to what Jesus endured. Lord, help me be more like Jesus.