In the light of positive recommendations from local people, I decided a couple of years ago that I would entrust Orange with the task of providing me with a mobile phone service. At the time it was a good choice; certainly it was an improvement on my previous provider. But since just before Christmas, I’ve been having some difficulty. In fact, it’s now more usual for me when I check my phone to see the messages “SOS” or “Searching for Network” than to see the little graphic with “bars” of signal strength showing. Indeed, I’ve been starting to feel that the nickname “No Range” that I have heard used occasionally of Orange evidently has some foundation in reality.
And I’ve noticed another thing, too. The battery on my phone is running down really quickly. Currently (no pun intended!), I’m charging it about three times every two days. It normally lasts at least four times as long. I think this problem is occurring because when the phone tries to connect to the mobile phone network, it uses some power. Obviously, if it is always trying, it is always draining power from the battery!
According to the Geordie on the call-centre help-desk, there’s a problem with the Widford transmitter (the fake tree near Widford Rise). Apparently, the storm of 19th December damaged “a chip”, and the company is looking into fixing the fault, but this requires “planning permission.” I’m a bit vague on the details because I wasn’t able to ask clarifying questions – my phone lost signal during the call, so he just left me a message to let me know the basic details!
It strikes me that there’s a parallel here to prayer (albeit an inexact parallel – don’t stretch it too far!). The important thing for a mobile phone is to gain a connection to the network. When the connection is made, communication can happen freely. In my situation, there’s a problem; my phone is having trouble connecting, and is wearing itself out trying. In the realm of communicating with God, we also need a connection with God to be established. But there’s no automatic connection in place. In fact, our default position is disconnection. In the Bible we read these words; “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:1-2) Here, the prophet Isaiah records his message to the people of Israel that, though they were trying to pray (and even wearing themselves out trying), their prayers would not be heard. They had no connection – indeed, their channel of communication was blocked; their sin was in the way. And we’re no different. However good we think we are, we all have the same sin problem.
Thankfully, there’s a solution to this problem. Obviously, we can’t change our past record of sin – what’s done is done. But, as the angel told Joseph, God has sent Jesus to “save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) When we put our trust in Jesus, we are made clean, our sin is removed from us as far as the east is from the west, and we are reconnected to God – and this means we can be confident our prayers will be heard. #goodnews