"How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon? "~ Dr. Seuss
One cold Russian winter night, I snuggled deeper into my blankets trying to ignore the incessant buzzing invading my dreams. The noise penetrated my dream – a ringing telephone. I leapt from my warm bed and sprinted toward the shrill rings echoing down the hallway.
These late night calls always struck fear into my mother’s heart. I couldn’t ignore the phone, because it might be one of my children. Darling Husband managed to sleep through all calls. Even if he did wake up, his mind didn’t engage and begin working for at least 20 minutes. The responsibility for answering phone calls after midnight and before 7:00 a.m. fell on my shoulders.
I snatched up the receiver and in a hesitant voice said, “Hellooo?”
“Hello, Robin. How are you? This is Michael, from Spokane,” replied the cheerful voice speaking from 19 time zones away. “I need to fax some papers to you about our upcoming visit.”
Not in the mood for small talk, I quickly replied, “Great. I’ll push the fax button and we should be good to go.” As in, go back to bed!
So, I jabbed the fax button, hung up the phone and waited for the fax. I waited and waited, but nothing happened. I shrugged my shoulders, and jumped back into my warm bed.
My eyelids drifted shut, and suddenly there was that noise again. Telephone! I dragged my protesting body from the bed, only opening my eyes a ¼ of an inch. My theory is if you keep your eyes pretty much closed – you won’t wake up all the way.
“Hello,” I groggily answered.
“This is Michael. For some reason the fax machine didn’t work,” he chirped. “Can we try again? Oh, and what time is it there?”
“It’s 3:00 a.m. But that’s okay; let’s try this again. I’m pressing the button now.”
I pushed the button, twice to be sure, and hung up the phone. I waited. The cold from the floor slowly numbed my feet and began moving up my legs. I turned and sprinted back to bed placing my ice-cold feet against my husband’s warm legs.
Twenty minutes later, just as my feet regained feeling, the phone rang again. I jumped up, throwing the cover back far enough that even Darling Husband felt the chill, and marched to the phone.
“Hello, Robin. I’m sorry, the fax didn’t work. Usually my secretary sends the faxes, and I’m not sure how the machine works. Can we try one more time?”
How about we wait until the secretary comes to work to try this again, were the first thoughts that ran through my head. I managed to reply in a frost-tinged tone, “Sure, let’s try this one more time.”
I mashed the fax button and hung up the phone. Suddenly, page after page began shooting out of the fax and falling to the floor. I wearily turned and trudged back to my bed wondering why people in America were incapable of understanding time zones.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” (NIV) It comforts me to realize that I can trust my time to God’s hands, and He crosses all time zones.
So to all my friends in other times zones, I always look forward to your phone calls. Just remember there is a “time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” (Ecc. 3:7 NIV) Be sure your call falls during the time to speak!