God Is a Unique Client

“Sergeant Thomas is deployed right now, and he’s calling from the field to ask about one of his accounts.” by Rey Lopez

It was Randy’s umpteenth customer service call of the day, but it would be far from typical. A coworker announced the call before transferring it over.

“Sergeant Thomas is deployed right now, and he’s calling from the field to ask about one of his accounts.”

“Okay,” Randy said. “Put him through, and I’ll see what we can do for him.”

“Thanks … ” the coworker said, then,”Sergeant Thomas, I have Randy on the line, and he’s going to assist you further.”


“Sergeant Thomas?” the coworker asked, wondering where the customer had gone. “Sometimes, there’s a bit of a delay in the call,” he explained, “so that might be the problem.”

Randy understood. “You don’t have to stay on. I’ll wait until Sergeant Thomas gets back. Thanks.”

Randy’s coworker completed the transfer and left Randy on the line alone.

“Sergeant Thomas?” Randy asked several times. “Are you there?” Then he heard gunfire in the background. Voices were shouting.

“Sergeant Thomas?” More gunfire, more voices, an explosion. The call was disconnected.

The first time I heard this call, I thought about the unique constituency I serve at my company. Our customers deserve my very best efforts. But so do your customers. Regardless of the organization you work for, regardless of the people you serve, the products you sell, or the services you provide, you have an obligation not to take your work or your customers for granted.

In these challenging economic times, customers will leverage their resources carefully and expect, rightfully so, excellence in the service of their investment. We must deliver on the promises we make to our customers. So often, we think about the promises we make to our employer. Your boss is certainly important! But what would service be like if we all acted equally accountable to our clients? After all, without clients-or patients or customers-we would have no employment.

The apostle Paul, under the direction of God’s Spirit, specifically addressed the matter of our attitude toward our employers and bosses. In letters to two of the local churches of his day, he wrote, “Servants, respectfully obey your earthly masters but always with an eye to obeying the real master, Christ. Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God” (Eph. 6.5-7, The Message).

Those who choose to invest in the services of our companies deserve the highest amount of respect and dedication to their needs. Paul goes so far as to say that we work with the understanding that we are really serving God.

I serve a unique clientele. They put their lives on the line each day for the interests of our nation, often without fanfare or recognition. It’s easy to work “with a smile” when I consider those who benefit from my company’s products and services. But having honor and integrity is not a prerequisite someone must have before I can serve a person joyfully. Paul also challenges us to serve those who don’t deserve it.

So what happened to Sergeant Thomas? I don’t know. But I do know this.

At some point as you sit at your desk today, the phone will ring. Remember to serve whoever is on the line. But also remember this-no matter who happens to be calling, you’re ultimately answering that call for God.


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