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.