Constant contact: It’s about the relationship

I met recently with someone whose new company has designed a software program to help sales professionals maintain a healthy level of sales activity while staying in touch with their clients and prospective clients.

The challenge for this young company is communicating the program’s key differences and competitive advantages in an already crowded field of automated products in what is known as customer relationship management, or CRM.

One software program that allows people to manage lists of e-mail addresses for regular communication with others is known as Constant Contact®. Based on the frequency with which I see the registered trademark of the brand at the bottom of messages in my inbox, I’d say it’s at or near the top in market share in its category of keeping its users in touch with their key constituencies.

Reach out and touch someone
We’ve been reminded for years that it’s good to call Mom and Dad regularly to stay in touch. The more frequently we do so, as long as we’re not always asking for something, the happier they are. As a father, I experience the warmth of a call or even a text message from our daughters as they lead their lives mostly outside of their childhood home.

The same is true of our heavenly Father. He delights greatly in hearing from us, His earthly children. Because He loves us unconditionally, He wants that touch to show how much He loves us and simultaneously see how much He matters in our lives.

One might argue that the frequency of contact alone proves God’s high, medium or low priority in our lives. In other words, any contact is better than none at all.

Some feel the need to be inside a church building to experience meaningful prayer. They may take the time during the day, several times per week to stop and visit God’s house. Many report that the peace and quiet they find there is unparalleled anywhere in their hectic existence. If that’s where you focus best on talking with the Lord and you have the opportunity to be there often, by all means take full advantage of it.

Conversely, if church is the only place where you feel you can have quality time with God and you can’t get there, something’s got to give. If you can only really pray in church and it’s difficult just to get there once a week for Mass, your relationship with God likely suffers as a result.

God is not either/or
As I heard recently in a Sunday sermon, our God is the God of “both/and” rather than “either/or.” He wants it all and is capable of doing things in our lives based on His rules rather than ours. When we set limits that block God, allowing ourselves to ignore Him for the majority of our day, week and month, He gives us that freedom of choice. He patiently awaits the changing of our priorities in His favor.

Simultaneously He puts people all around us who somehow manage to have God in every element of their lives, morning, noon and night, minute by minute, hour by hour. If we choose to see them and understand how they lead their lives in God’s continuous presence, we gain insight into the greatest example of “both … and.” Of course we can choose to stick our spiritual heads in the sand, denying the possibility that we can be with God and in His presence every moment of our worldly existence.

Nowhere have I seen this expressed more elegantly and succinctly than in the book “The Practice of the Presence of God,” by Brother Lawrence. Recommender’s warning: this is a short, thin, wisp of a book, but don’t let that fool you. Having read it once, you’re likely to repeat the process several times for the simple yet profound gems of wisdom you’ll find within.

Take time in your life at the beginning, through the middle, and again at the end of the day to spend time with God in His presence. These can be several minutes at a time, checking in with your Creator to keep the lines of communication open.

As a preacher once said, “If you find you’re not as close to God as you used to be, guess who moved.”

John Earl Carroll is an award-winning columnist and entrepreneur based in Mount Pleasant. Contact him at