The Unanswered Call

A friend of mine was in a minor car accident last winter. She was safe, thankfully, and her car was driveable, though noticeably damaged.

Some great news was that it looked like the insurance company was going to pay for repairs. Her agent tried to call her for months to finalize the details, but she never answered.

Her car was falling apart more and more every time I saw her, but she still didn’t return the agent’s calls. At one point, she showed me that the front bumper was held together with duct tape. The poor vehicle didn’t look like it could survive another winter.

“You know he’s going to stop calling someday, don’t you?” I asked, incredulous that she was throwing away free money.

“I know,” she admitted.

“Why don’t you answer his calls, then?”

“I don’t know,” she said, and I didn’t either.

Maybe it was because she loved to travel spontaneously, and she knew fixing her car would require several summer days in the shop. Perhaps she knew she’d need to fill out paperwork she didn’t understand, and it scared her.

Really, I think it just didn’t seem like a pressing problem to her. Her car worked for now, wasn’t that enough? Next winter was too far away to think about.

The saddest part of the situation, though, was that it was a mirror image of her spiritual life.

I’d spent the past few months explaining the gospel and studying the Bible with her. She seemed interested, and I was excited. She didn’t question whether she had sinned against God; she knew she deserved hell. She understood that Jesus had died for her sins and that he was freely offering to redeem her life.

And yet, she didn’t accept him. She rejected the calls of her Savior like the calls of her insurance agent. Not now, maybe later.

It’s easy to see the foolishness of my friend’s situation. But how can you be sure you’re not doing the exact same thing?

Following Christ is never convenient. We reject his calls because our present lives seem too enjoyable to disrupt. Someday, when I’m done having fun in college, I’ll pursue Christ. Someday, when I’m not having sex with my boyfriend, I’ll seek God.

Not now, maybe later.

You’re counting on a callback, but eventually, the calls will stop. The offer will end. And your car will break down.

The greatest mistake in a long-distance relationship — the greatest mistake in life — is allowing its joys and problems to feel more urgent than the call of Christ. Love is blind, they say. It doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to send the greatest love of your life to the answering machine.

When Christ calls you this time, what will your answer be? What will he hear from the other end of the line? Will it be “I’m here, and I’m sorry, God,” or the soft beep of a busy tone?

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