Phoning It In

According to the Urban Dictionary, phoning it in is to “perform an act in a perfunctory, uncommitted fashion, as if it didn’t matter.” I’m wondering today how many of us are phoning it in when it comes to life.

I heard a person talking earlier and he was asking an associate if he was busy. The associate said, “Well I’m looking at a grocery store sales ad. When I finish this I have a Target ad to look at.” Phoning it in. There is of course a little of that in every office, but for some, it’s a way of life. Zig Ziglar once said, “A lot of people stop looking for work as soon as they find a job.” If you have a job, work at it. Do more than is asked. Invest your life into your work while you’re there.

But this problem reaches far beyond work.

Parents often phone it in when it comes to parenting. Kids wonder through life detached from their parents. Providing our children a place to stay and some food to eat is not parenting. I’m against the hovering mom and the bodyguard dad, but kids need connection and engagement. I take Caleb to get donuts once a week. We catch a midnight movie (yes on school nights) from time to time. We do Fantasy Football together. Last night he came in my office when I was reading; I put down my book and the 14-year-old Boy sat in my lap and talked for a bit.

Spouses can fall into the habit of phoning it in as well. We get busy, stress wears on us and we sometimes are just beaten down with the demands of life. We forget to connect. No… that’s not right. We decide that the work of connection is too demanding. We take the absence of conflict as a fair trade for friendship, romance and even love. We need all of these. So laugh, flirt, romance and love; when these disappear, there is a phoning it in problem somewhere.

Lots of folks phone it in at church. Showing up is paying your dues. If you drop money in the basket, you did your duty and more. Supporting ministry, engaging real effort to serve others, looking for opportunities to bless those who are struggling, these are spiritual investments. The Old Book says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” Eccl 9:10. If your spiritual life is sitting in the pew, singing songs, enduring a lesson and suffering through Bible class – this is phoning it in.

No, I’m not great at this… probably why I’m writing. I just get the sense that sometimes we focus on the wrong things and phone it in where it really matters. What inspires us to greatness is not the guy who was adequate… it’s the guy who was exceptional. Seeing that girl who seems to love God more than air makes us wonder what we are missing. We envy couples who have a lot of miles on them and still have that light of romance in their eyes. My guess is that these folks ain’t phoning it in.

telemicus out

2 Responses to Phoning It In

  1. Bill Meeks says:

    Hey Clyde! Wow….you hit me right between the eyes with this one…boy did I need to hear that! You call it “phoning it in”….I’m calling it laziness and it’s a trap that I fall into very easily! Thanks again my brother!

  2. bign says:

    great lesson in and for life…been there, done that and even had the audacity to gripe about others who do the same…”log in my eye” right there. thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *