// originally written a few months ago, I thought I’d let ya’ll in on how absent-minded I can be! //
That New Year’s Eve shopping trip to Kohl’s with my grandmother was intended to be an adventure in how much we could glean from the clearance racks as we spent a Christmas gift card.
That rainy afternoon turned into much, much more.
After we had completed our shopping, we got into our separate vehicles. I decided to send a quick text before driving home. One problem: my cell phone wasn’t in the passenger seat like usual.
Nor could I find it after rummaging in my purse. Or anywhere else in the car. Not in the Kohl’s bag, or the big cardboard box I had used to transport book packages to the post office earlier that day.
No iPhone with a Tardis-blue LifeProof case and seashell charm hanging from the earbud jack.
I reentered the store and enlisted two cashier’s help in calling my phone, certain that I had left it in the buggy where I had placed my purse while we shopped. Alas, no luck. So I left my information at the desk and drove home, two action steps revolving in my mind: I could use the Find iPhone app to locate it from my computer, and I needed to change my passwords to everything from email to social media ASAP.
That was the longest thirty-minute drive home, not because of those two plans, but because of the fact that I felt oddly disconnected. I couldn’t text anyone that I was on my way home, driving in the rain. I couldn’t let anyone know should I get in a wreck or have a flat tire.
Two weeks earlier, I had deleted social media apps from my phone as an end-of-year fast in an attempt to spend more time searching for my One Word. But this disconnect was far more complete than that. So I turned on worship music and focused on the positive: I had a plan and didn’t have to just wait on a stranger to find and turn in my phone to Customer Service. I was closer to home with every mile. I had half a tank of gasoline and the tires were only a few months old.
Then frustration set in. How could I have left my phone in the buggy? Why hadn’t I just put it in my purse or my pocket? What if I never see my phone again? What if I have to buy a new one?
I prayed through it, thanking God for the kind clerks who had helped me search, including the one who had loaned me her own phone. Thanking Him that I at least knew the general vicinity of my missing phone’s location: that Kohl’s. Thanking Him in advance for the stranger who would find it.
And I prayed through the troubling potential scenario that I might never see that particular iPhone again:
- It’s my first iPhone. It’s just a cell phone, a material thing.
- But it’s not even a year old. It’s still just a material thing.
- A very expensive thing. Yet I didn’t pay anywhere near full price for it, having gotten a bargain.
- All my accounts are on that phone. Thankfully I never purchased any apps or set up banking on that device, and I can change my passwords. I can even deactivate it, and erase it using Find iPhone.
It sounds a little silly, but I surrendered the situation–that silly phone-finding mess–to God in that music-filled truck that New Year’s Eve.
Then I got home, ran to my computer, turned on the alarm via Find iPhone, which prompted a lady who had the very buggy my grandma and I had been using in Kohl’s to turn it in to Customer Service. I was reunited with my phone, seashell cell phone charm still dangling sweetly from the earbud jack, within hours.
After, of course, I found my keys.