Remember the telephone game we all played as children? This ice-breaker—where a person whispers a message into someone’s ear, who repeats the message into the next person’s ear until it reaches the end of the line and often reveals a completely different message from the original—is a terrific exercise in revealing how easily miscommunication can take place.
Of course, the accuracy and speed of communication have changed dramatically over time. One of the most influential leaps in communication allegedly occurred due to a personal tragedy. Samuel Morse was a talented painter commissioned to make portraits of former presidents and other influential people in the American halls of power. While working on a painting in 1825, he received a letter from home explaining that his wife was gravely ill. The message was delivered by horse carriage, and by the time he returned home, she had passed away. Morse was then inspired to create the telegraph machine as a mechanism to expedite messages, creating an entirely new industry and igniting the imaginations of those who would go on to invent even speedier and more accurate devices.
Through his political connections in our nation’s capital, Morse secured a $30,000 grant to build a demonstration system between Washington DC and a Baltimore train station. The project involved digging trenches to bury the electrical cables, but they repeatedly failed. The solution was to string the wires overhead across trees and poles instead. Thus, the creation of today’s utility poles was born. Poet John Updike would eventually write an ode to America’s network of utility poles in his poem, “Telephone Poles.” These giants are more constant than evergreens.
We invite you to communicate the old-fashioned way: without any poles, wires, or machinery. Most importantly, this method prevents miscommunication between you and your audience. The communication is prayer. Speak silently or aloud, directly to God. This Sunday, October 23rd, at 8:00 AM, 10:15 AM, and 6:00 PM, our worship services will highlight a parable Jesus shares about prayer. Join us. And feel free to call a friend and invite them to join you.