I lost my phone while jogging the other day. It fell out of my pocket somewhere after the first half mile while I was wrestling with my dog/bear. I didn’t realize it until I reached the end of the loop I always take. Normally, my walk is around 2.4 miles. Normally, my friend and I just walk it. Normally, I don’t bring my dog/bear. This was not a normal day. It was the perfect storm of possibilities that collided to form an exhausting start to my day.
As soon as I realized the phone had fallen out of my pocket, we started to retrace our steps. We re-walked the entire loop with our dogs, my knee in a brace, and my heart racing. I will admit a bit of a panic set in with the thought of a lost phone. The expense of replacing the item was only part of the problem.
Like so many people these days, my life is in my phone. My calendar with all my upcoming events is on it. I no longer have all my friend’s numbers memorized, those numbers are stored in my phone. All the recent pictures of family events aren’t stored in well-organized scrap books at my house; they are sucking up the memory on my phone. Not to mention the banking information and oh-so-important social media data that is on my phone. Yes, it is passcode protected, but there is always a chance someone will figure out the code. I also have my bible on my phone. I was all set to earn another badge on the bible app and felt ripped off that I might not be getting it if I lost the darn thing.
After we had retraced our steps to no avail, I asked my friend to try the number again just in case. I was blessed when a young woman answered. My phone had been turned in at the student life center at the university where I was walking. A wave of relief swept over me. Prayers were answered, and a “Thank you Jesus” was muttered.
I walked back across the campus to the student life building to retrieve my lost appendage. I was exhausted, embarrassed, and agitated. My poor dog/bear loped beside me. He knew something was wrong, he just couldn’t put his paw on the problem.
I started thinking about how much of me was wrapped up in that small device, how much of my world was held in the circuits and memory of my cell, and how lost I felt without it. Is a cell phone really that vital of an object? Was the apprehension caused by its disappearance an accurate representation of its importance in my life? Could I have found a way to live without it?
Clearly, I could live without the phone, and maybe I should try. God nudged my thinking with the phone debacle. It’s not enough to give God the first fifteen minutes of my day when I give far more time to things that have no meaning. At the beginning of the year, I deleted several time sucking apps from my phone and threw myself into bible study with abandon, but I had let the creep of mindless distractions crawl back in. I want a whole hearted pursuit of God to power my day not a halfhearted pause with God to help pass the morning.
When I feel that my relationship with God has slid away, do I pursue it with the zeal that I had when I was looking for my phone? Am I willing to walk an extra mile or two to find my way back to right relationship with God? Shouldn’t I earnestly seek out His will the way I sought my lost phone?
The next time I go for a run on the trail at the university, I will leave my over-large, somewhat rambunctious dog at home. I think the walks around the neighborhood are sufficient until I train him better. I think I will leave my phone at home as well. Communing with God and conversing with my friend should take precedence over that small electronic gadget. If I am constantly focused on that tiny screen, I will never notice when the important things in life have slipped out of my pocket.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, and a part-time basket case who wants to be a full time writer.