Our Telephone Booth
Some may call it a terrible inconvenience, others may complain of exhaustion and fatigue, while still others may long for a more civilized way of life. I call it a blessing, a mountaintop experience, a gift from God!
You see, it is our telephone booth. To connect with someone in the outside world you must first count the cost. Is it worth it? We leave our house, cross two small rivers, climb a mountain or two, then climb a tree! The hike up the mountain may take quite a while on a good day. Round trip, if an hour is spent on the telephone, you may have to calculate taking 3 hours. It is a very steep ascent.
On the way the scenery is breathtaking if the weather is clear. You see many cleared mountainsides where rice is growing, distant mountains, valleys and one small village way off to the left. It is best to go in the early morning because it is slightly cooler, but any time of day you must expect the sweat to pour! We usually want to get our daily exercise anyway, and what better way than to climb a mountain? This does your calves wonders, and your cardiovascular system is strengthened. At the summit we view the telephone booth. The walls are white patches over brown. The climb to the first limb is not too hard. The climb to the next level is very tricky. My short legs have to stretch past the limit and you hope the feet don’t slip on the smooth bark. Once balanced in position the phone works very well. You are defenseless from the ants, however, which are also always interested in climbing this same tree. The bees are pesky also and easily sting you before you notice where they are lurking.
The white patches on the tree bark is perfect to quickly jot telephone numbers on. This type telephone book does not ruin in the rain. Week after week the names and numbers are still clear. Think of the joy to actually be able to speak to the ones you love and miss, or connect with those you must do business with.
One day on the way back down the mountain, a sudden tropical storm hit! Instantly my pathway down became a rushing torment, the ugly brown water pulled hard at my feet and each step was uncertain and threatened to bring me down. As I slipped and splashed all the way home I thought about the joy of actually talking to those I loved and missed. Because of the effort in the journey, the joy of the conversation is all the sweeter, the connection is so much more appreciated, the words spoken and heard in the ear leave a greater impact, and the memory of these conversations stay so clear for so much longer!
Oh friends, isn’t this similar to our connection with the precious Saviour! First you must count the cost. Is it worth it to you to give up the favorite, darling ”little” sins that keep you away from Him, to take up your cross and follow no matter what the cost. It requires a struggle, an affliction of your soul before Him. Sin tries to have dominion over you and fill you with doubt about this Christian journey. It is hard. Your feet slip sometimes, filling you with dread and fear. But Jesus says He has enlarged your steps under you that your feet do not slip. (See 2Samuel 22:37)The devil throws darts (the ants and bees) at you threatening to make you let go of the connection you have so longed to receive. You tend to still disbelieve, but Jesus is there, you hear His sweet voice saying, I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand…fear not I will help thee.” Isaiah 41: 3. The tiresome journey instantly looses its pain. You have heard the voice of Jesus, you realize He has held you and walked with you all this time through the trouble, the pain, the discouragement, and even through your sins and terrible mistakes! Your elation knows no bounds!! In great joy and adoration the exclamation of Nicodemus comes, “How can these things be?” It is far too wonderful to understand. No, you cannot understand it, you must just believe it is true and as you descend into the days and weeks that follow, some of them an overwhelming flood of sorrow, hardship and pain, the memory of your experience with Jesus on the mountaintop is ever sweeter and holds you tighter as the days go by. His love shines brighter and if you keep choosing Him, He will never leave you or forsake you. The sweetness of His presence just grows better each day until that journey ends and we see Him face to face.
Take courage there is hope! Mrs. White says:
“The Spirit furnishes the strength that sustains striving, wrestling souls in every emergency, amidst the hatred of the world, and the realization of their own failures and mistakes. In sorrow and affliction, when the outlook seems dark and the future perplexing, and we feel helpless and alone, -these are the times when, in answer to the prayer of faith, the Holy Spirit brings comfort to the heart.” Acts of the Apostles 51