Lost Cellphones

I lost my cellphone. It flew off the roof of my car when I accelerated to highway speeds.  In my rush to get out the door early one morning, I threw my gym bag into the back and must have placed my phone on the roof of my car while doing so. My mind was in a million places that morning. Frankly, my normal wake-up routine was a scrambled mess.

Pit in the Stomach

When I heard that thump on the roof of my car, I knew exactly what had happened. A huge pit hit my stomach. My heart rate sped up and I could feel my muscles tense up. It took a while to circle back to retrace the road where I heard the thump. 5:00 AM morning traffic was light, thankfully.  No phone. Now, my entire day is messed up. Or is it?

What If?

I’m not saying that God planned for me to lose my phone. He wasn’t trying to mess with my day, throwing in a monkey wrench to what I thought was to be a great day. God is not meniacle. He is not sinister. However, in his complete sovereignty, God can use the unexpected, even lost cellphones to write a portion of his story in us that would not otherwise have been written; at least in that way.

Just the day before, I was on a Zoom mentoring call with a young man in Canada. We were talking about ways our false-self tries to compensate for our wounds, our insecurities. Controlling situations is a big one for us men. We want to orchestrate the narrative. We want to have final say over the outcomes. We think maintaining a certain image is going to fix life.  All it does is cover up the real things God wants to do in us.

So, what if, losing the cellphone was a way for God to work on my own false-self? My own ways of compensating for my wounds and fears? What if the journey of the lost cellphone is to cast my anxieties on him?

My Go to Verses

Back at home, I got out my Bible and this is the passage I go to when anxiety rises.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.  1 Peter 5:6-11 ESV

My conversation with Jesus went something like this.  

“God, nothing about this cellphone thing caught you by surprise. My life is not defined by my mistakes. I choose to give you my heart and my anxiety. I need you, Jesus. Fill me, Holy Spirit. Work out getting a new phone. None of this timing, Jesus was on my radar.  What if you are in this for things far larger than just me?  What if you are doing a holy reset of my heart? Thank you that I am not the only Jesus follower facing struggles. Thank you for those I can call on for help. For prayer. For leaning on them during this time.”

So I Wait

Wait for the store to open. Wait for the digital connections of my life to be restored. Sounds so first-world; as if life is somehow in serious crisis because we cannot text a friend instantly or watch that latest Arbour Season YouTube video or listen to Hollow Coves on Spotify. My office needs me. My friends need me. I am not a friend without a cellphone!  Really?

Thank God for Cellphones

Yes, a million times over, cellphones are the biggest access to sin. Porn sites galore right in the palm of your hand. Tons of useless information. But, they can also be used for tremendous good. A tool for seeking God. For sharing life and staying connected. The real question is Where is my heart? What anxieties come out when something like a cellphone isn’t in my hand?

My walk with Jesus is not impacted by a lost cellphone. I didn’t lose service connection with him. In fact, I am more connected than ever!

It’s the casting of my anxieties to the Lord that is the larger story here. My fears. The wounds that I try to nurse with a cellphone, Jesus is there, arm around my shoulder, reminding me of his presence and that he is more than able to walk with me through far greater things than lost cellphones.

A few weeks from now, this lost cellphone event will fade into distant memory. The anxiety and re-arranged schedule will be forgotten. There will be other things confronting my days. Struggles are not the issue. Who I trust in the struggles is. May that be the story of my lost cellphone.

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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