About two weeks ago, I sent in my iPhone for repairs; the port for power connecting had begun working only intermittently. Happily, however, I didn’t have to do without: the folks at U.S. Cellular gave me a old fashioned flip-phone replacement.
Honestly, I thought it would be a good experience. Sort of a forced unplugging, you know…going back to ancient times, when our forefathers could only call and text with their devices. I too would join in their happy throng, smelling more flowers, watching more sunsets, and living at peace in a world without Facebook.
The timing, however…was poor. My new flip phone era coincided with the theft of our GPS right out from under our noses as our van sat in the driveway one evening. This meant that drop-off-your-student weekend at Wheaton College was going to be somewhat GPS-less for me. Diane had her phone, but we would not always be together…and besides, it was hers, not mine.
Readers of this blog will know that we already have another student, our Junior – Josh, at Wheaton, so you would think we would know our way around by now. Not so. And after all, why should we? We always had our GPS. Going to Wheaton was almost as simple as selecting 500 College Ave., and tucking in for a three hour nap. Not anymore. Yet truthfully, getting there wasn’t the problem. It was getting around during the long three day weekend to our lodgings and various eateries that would be tough. The positive was that, indeed, by the end of the weekend, I had the Wheaton-Glen Ellyn area more figured out than ever before.
Now…about texting. I’ve grown accustomed to speaking out loud my texts into my iPhone. Though my kids think I’m hokey, I think it’s genius. And oh how I wanted to talk to that flip-phone with its abc and def etc. buttons. Purgatory, if I believed in it, would be mandatory flip-phones and forced texting. And that brings up another problem: Whensendingatextonmynewflipphone,Icouldn’tfindthespacebar. The upside was that Elisabeth received some entertainment from her dad’s flip-phone goofiness and started showing my run-together texts to her new college pals. It wasn’t until we arrived at the school and met up with tech savvy Josh that my messages got a bit easier to read. (# button = space)
Of course I was app-deprived. Email, Safari, Audible books, Olive Tree Study Bible, My fitness pal (apparently without tracking calories, I would just need to eat whatever I wanted). And forget actually watching sunsets, midday, I just longed to consult my Weather Channel app to see whether a sunset would be hypothetically viewable that evening. A very mild depression descended, and I was unable to discern if it came from leaving two kids at college or not having Evernote.
The culmination of my troubles came when we needed to kill an hour before dinner and headed to…Kohl’s. I like to think that Steve Jobs invented iPhones primarily for men whose wives were going to spend more than 5 minutes at a Kohl’s. I once killed almost two hours sitting in a manchair at Kohl’s while reading from the Kindle app on my iPhone. I got at least one good thought for my Easter sermon that day. But nothing either productive or entertaining was going to be happening in this hour. In desperation, I tried to connect to something called “easy edge” on the flip phone, thinking it would provide me with baseball scores or stock tips or the latest news from AP…anything…anything. But the flip phone failed to connect to easy edge. It was just me…and clothes.
My iPhone is back now – actually Apple gave me a new one (or refurbished – I can’t tell) as it was under warranty. And all I can say is that I have a newfound appreciation for that grey rectangle in my front pocket. Dear iPhone, I never knew you, and I’ll never take you for granted again.
And why do I bring all this up? Well, Scripture, of course:
But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 1 Timothy 6:8 (ESV)
And somewhere up in heaven…the Apostle Paul is shaking his head at me.
September 2, 2015 at 7:12 am
Amen Roger, I can’t stand be without it. We do take so many things for granted. Like our legs, the ability to sit on the floor, the ability to get back up from the floor without assistance the ability to put on your own socks and shoes, the ability to walk quickly, the ability to walk up steps using your left foot, then right, the ability to take two steps at a time… I recently lost all of these things except the iPhone. Day 32 on the new hip joint and gaining these things back one at a time over the past month has filled my heart with praise for my maker and healer for gaining each one. I went for the walk the other day, 4.5 miles in 90 minutes, no speed record but I was filled with praise because there was no pain and was able to navigate uneven ground and even enjoy the beauty of Gods creation simultaneously. Wow!
“You don’t know what you got till its gone” makes me think of my maker and redeemer and his mercy to me, an undeserving fool who forgets him so often, that I depend on him for everything, even my current breath. God is perfect in his goodness all the time and I never want to forget that, even without my iPhone or the ability to get back up off the floor unassisted, or walk, or run. Amen? By his grace I will never forget it.
I am also filled with praise and thanksgiving because you asked to pray for me prior to surgery Roger, and not only you, but you gathered other good people to join us and agree in prayer for my quick recovery which has been phenomenal and beyond the expectations of the Dr. Roger, I thank God for you and your work in our lives, to spur us on in faith and good deeds done in meekness and humility. The Lord bless you.
Ps, Hoping to run soon; and where was your Ipad while your iPhone was away on vacation? 🙂
Sent from my iPad
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September 2, 2015 at 8:09 am
Delighted you are pain free, brother!
September 3, 2015 at 9:16 am
I thought I’d come up in the world when my nieces insisted I needed to get a phone I could text on! No iphone or anything fancy tho. As the grandkids would say, I live in the “olden days”. Since I’m on the computer too much while I’m home, it’s kinda nice to have some freedom while I”m gone tho. Free to chat w/ the person next to me in line, or sitting at the doctor’s office, whatever. Of course, that would be if they weren’t playing on their iphone.
(Next time you need a GPS, text me, you can borrow mine. It’s the old fashioned portable kind – not installed in the car:)
September 3, 2015 at 9:49 am
Thanks for the offer, Laura!