Prior to the introduction of Caller ID in 1991, we had to wait for callers to identify themselves before we knew with whom we were speaking. Most of us, however, can recall a time or two when the caller did not give their name and instead launched right into a conversation. I can think of many times when this happened to me, and one of three things occurred.
One: I’d know the voice after a few words.
Two: I wouldn’t recognize the voice and continued talking, hoping I’d eventually figure out who was on the line. Sometimes, however, this approach backfired. For example–when I was a teenager, I once spoke to a woman on the phone for ten minutes, racking my brain the entire time trying to figure out who she was. I didn’t want to ask her, because it was obvious that she thought I’d know her by her voice. I finally realized that she was my mother’s friend and thought I was my mother. By that time, I was too embarrassed to tell her that I wasn’t my mother, so I spoke to her for another twenty minutes pretending to be my mom. After that episode, I learned to use the third approach.
Three: I’d cut the caller off mid-sentence and ask, “Who the heck is this?”
Family members, however, all fell into category one. When I called my parents, sibling, or close relatives, or they called me, we always started our conversations with a simple, “Hi, it’s me.” That’s it. Three small words, but I immediately knew who was speaking, and they knew me. Because we loved each other and had a close relationship, the sounds of our voices were all we needed to identify each other.
Sometimes, especially when I’m struggling to hear God’s voice and know which path he’s asking me to follow, I wish heaven had Caller ID. Instead of spending hours and hours praying, reading my Bible, and seeking him, “God” would flash, and I’d know he was calling me to go in a certain direction. Piece of cake.
But is that really what I want? If God had Caller ID, I wonder if he would be no more than a mere acquaintance to me. And I’d miss out on the most amazing relationship I’ll ever have. To be honest, I’d rather spend those hours and hours with my Father, immersing myself in his word, being still before him, and listening instead of always asking. My prayer is that, when I seek him with all my heart and spend time daily in his presence, I’ll know him anywhere. And all I’ll need to recognize his voice are three words:
Hi, it’s Me.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
John 10:27-28 (ESV)