Not What I Had Planned

Let me just say up front, this a true story that happened just last weekend. And one more thing: It turns out I am not always as smart as I think I am.

There; I said it.

Saturday morning. I knew it would be a beautiful Texas February day, with a projected high temperature in the low 80s, with wind under 20 mph. Cyndi was out of town studying yoga. Knowing I was not on Uncle Berry duty, I planned a long bike ride.

Because it was supposed to be so warm I left the house wearing a long-sleeved cycling jersey and my vest, figuring I could stuff the vest into my back pocket when it got too hot. But I turned back after only a few blocks and went home to put on more clothes. I was still six hours ahead of the day’s high temperature. I added wind jacket, full-fingered gloves, and neoprene ear protector to my kit.

My jacket doesn’t have traditional pockets in the back, but some sort of long pocket with a side-opening zipper. I hadn’t used it before, but it seemed handy enough, so I stuffed my phone and iPod inside. I didn’t zip it.

I’m not going to make or take phone calls while riding unless disaster strikes, but I carry my phone to track my ride with GPS using an app called Strava.

The ride was fun and comfortable, little traffic, no drama, few riders on the road. I was hoping to extend my ride a little further so I crossed under Highway 191 at Deauville and circled around the Legends Neighborhood.

Then I rode home feeling good about myself. The ride was going well, I wasn’t tired of the bike saddle, my legs and hands felt good, and I was wearing the right clothes. I was anxious to see how far I’d ridden.

But when I got home and reached for my phone … it wasn’t there. I quickly stripped out of all my sweaty layers and checked all the pockets, but no phone. Bummer. It must have fallen out somewhere during the ride.

I drove my pickup slowly, retracing my route. After about five miles I saw a black object in the road in the intersection of Rockwood and Edgebrook, just broken phonenorth of Mockingbird. It was my phone, lying face down in the street. There were at least two sets of tire tracks on the case.

My phone was dead. The screen was shattered, and the on/off button wouldn’t respond. The good news was I found it before spending the entire afternoon searching.

Sunday afternoon. I bought a new phone: an iPhone 5s.

Someone who lives with me suggested I staged the entire event just to get a new phone, like in the commercial where the guy spilled (threw) coffee on his ancient laptop. A valid suspicion except I did not want a new phone, and if I staged a disaster I would’ve waited until after the ride so I could upload the data. As it happened, I was forced to guess how far I rode; nobody wants that.

My new phone has Siri, but I turned it off. I don’t want my phone to be my friend. My new phone also has fingerprint “Touch ID,” but I turned it off, too. I don’t use the same hand or the same fingers when I use my phone. And since the 5s uses the lightening connection instead of the traditional iPhone connector, none of my accessories will work, including my iHome, which I used to listen to NPR every morning. New technology doesn’t add value to your life right away. First, it makes life harder.

This was not what I planned for my weekend. I intended to ride 40 miles, take a soothing shower and then camp out at some favorite restaurant and download my accumulated thoughts into my journal, and feel proud of myself, and all that. Seems noble enough.

Even though I am trying to spend 2014 making fundamental changes in how I live, hoping to add energy, vitality, and creativity, I want to make changes I myself orchestrate. I don’t want a bunch of unpredictable changes from accidents out of my control.

Wednesday noon, Bob Goff said, “A lot of us are one job behind who we’ve turned in to.”

The problem with planning my own changes is I’m too slow. I’m probably one change behind who God is turning me in to. Maybe one ministry behind, or one self-image behind. One phone behind. Or maybe the entire phone thing was a training exercise for bigger changes coming.

I don’t know; but if I want to be God’s man, I can’t expect to make all the plans myself. I’m not that smart.

  “I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:32

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