DayBreaks for 10/03/16 – A Long Slavery
Galen is traveling this week…
From the DayBreaks archive, 2006:
“CANTON, Ohio – Ester Strogen’s family is amazed that she has spent as much as $14,666.40 to lease two rotary-dial phones from AT&T since 1964. Strogen and her late husband paid $29.10 a month for more than 40 years to lease the phones.
“In the 1960s, when rotary dial phones were new and expensive, it was not uncommon for customers to choose leasing options instead of purchasing. Strogen’s granddaughter, Barb Gordon, fears there are others like her grandmother who do not realize they are paying thousands of dollars for an inexpensive technology. “I’m outraged,” Gordon said. “It made me so mad. It’s ridiculous. If my own grandmother was doing it, how many other people are?”
“Strogen’s family insisted she discontinue payments to AT&T, and the company demanded she return the phones.”
I remember the days of “rented” phones from the phone company. I recall the transition from a phone that hung on the wall with a ringer dial on the side (like you see in the old movies) that we had in our farmhouse in Iowa when I was little, to rotary dial, to touch tone – and now smartphones. I must be getting old!
When I read about Ester Strogen, I had several thoughts:
FIRST: I was upset that the phone company would have continued for over 40 years to charge this family for a rented phone. Surely, they must have had some way to recognize what was happening, but greed seems to be the motive of the day.
SECOND: I thought about how much we pay for things in our lives. When they started renting a phone, it probably seemed like a good deal and a good idea. It was about the only way you could get one back then. And so they got used to paying the $29.10 a month – each and every month – for more than 480 months in a row, without ever questioning the value of what they were getting. There are so many things in life that seem desirable to start with, but which take up residence in our “house” and eventually eat us up. We sometimes forget about them (they must not have read their phone bill in any detail for a long, long time!), and you’d think that they’d wonder why all the stores had phones for sale (in some cases for less than they were paying per month to rent a rotary-dial phone!) Ah, but we are such creatures of habit. It’s hard to change – it scares us and intimidates us, so we settle for the known status-quo rather than trying to find something better.
Have you been struggling for 40 years or more with life, paying the evil piper his dues each and every day? Isn’t it time to make the change to something better – to Jesus? Break out of the long slavery that has held you in its grip and move into the freedom of the Son!
PRAYER: Father, we are so very foolish – and so very scared. Help us to see that the changes you want to make in our lives are for our good and that what you want for us is far better than anything else that we could find. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.