The night before I was to drive alone to Cincinnati for a travel writers’ conference, my phone quit working. No internet. No ability to make or receive calls. No GPS. Nothing.
I thought, “Maybe it’s just a temporary glitch that will somehow ‘fix itself’ by morning.” But that didn’t happen. It was a new phone. I’d never had to do a hard reset before and didn’t know how. It was time to head out of the driveway in order to reach my destination for the first session. I knew I had to go straight up I-65 for several hours, so I guess I figured I’d find a Verizon store when they opened and somehow get the phone to work. I had some printed directions — on actual paper. But, it made me uneasy to not be able to call Steve or to call for help if I had trouble on the road. And I really needed/wanted that lady’s GPS voice telling me exactly which exit to take and where to turn. Somehow, I WAS able to text — when I could find a place with free Wi-Fi (a.k.a. McDonald’s).
It was obvious that I had become WAY too dependent on my phone, but for three hours, I was virtually unreachable. Eerie. Unnerving. A control freak with no control.
But, it occurred to me that I was not out of reach of God. He knew exactly where I was, and He could hear me with no static or dropped calls or dead spaces. The quietness was perfect for praying. And, it was a Sunday morning.
I started praying through my family. Oldest child, her husband and children. Youngest child, her husband and children. Son, in the pulpit preaching at that time, his wife and children. Lots of time on Steve, and I prayed for myself. I prayed for people I knew of who were struggling, in pain or sad. I asked God to keep me safe and to help me figure out what to do about that phone.
Then, I turned the car radio to a Christian station and heard a great sermon and some uplifting music. For almost three hours, it was just God and me. No dings or pings from the outside world. And I realized how much I needed that time.
When I was almost to Kentucky, I pulled into a McDonald’s and realized I had texts from Steve and from a knowledgeable techno guy in our life group. He sent me the instructions for a hard reset on my phone. I followed the instructions, and “Boom!” I was back in business. I called Steve. I got my GPS lady talking to me. I could proceed ahead fully connected.
But, I haven’t been able to forget the feelings I had during those three unplugged hours when I was alone with God in my car. He was there. He’s ALWAYS there. Hallelujah.
Isaiah 41:10 — “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 — “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Psalm 139:7-10 — “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”