AWAKE – Parable

July 27, 2017 at 4:03 am (WSGD Newes)

Jared sat by the side of the road, the words ‘I told you so…’ fairly oozing out of each of his pores. He’d set out to do what the men’s group suggested and voted on as the action to be placed on the lesson they hoped to learn. The topic was how technology ruled us instead of the other way around. So, in order to find out how entrenched each was in the technological abyss, a plan was set forth. 

Each man was to take a minimum of a three day trip, no cell phones allowed, no aids of industry. Clothes, food with a cooler that only held ice as its method of cooling, their Bible – the actual physical book, a note book for notes to record how they saw themselves responding to the lack of comforts and technology, and aids to suit the chosen destination of each man. 

Jared was one of the ones that insisted he could live without his phone and creature comforts. Yet he was also ready with arguments for the lack of wisdom of no cell phone. “In case something happens…” It seemed fine enough to only use it in an emergency. The vote was against him and Brian. 8 to 2. So here he was with a flat tire on the side of a very isolated road, three hours into his trip. Sweat began to trickle down him like weeping rocks in a steady rain. Here was the very situation he had argued and what he needed most was a phone! He was so caught up in feeling frustrated he’d left his phone at home, his mind was unable to track with solutions – problem solving. The solution he was obsessed with was the one he couldn’t use. Two hours had crept by, noone had raised a dust cloud on the road. He sat waiting for someone else with a phone. 

Of course the plan had be implemented with safe guards – each person was given a partner with which they gave all the details of their trip and a set time for checking in. If they failed to check in within 12 hours of the set time, a search party would be sent, authorities would be notified, and every effort would be made by the group to find the missing member. They had all taken a first aid survival class prior to the first persons trip. Everyone had learned much and been grateful for the back up. 

Jared knew how to change a flat tire. His stubbornness at the moment was blinding him to his ability to move on. Finally 3 hours and 34 minutes later, a still small voice finally broke through. 

” The jack and tire are right there, son.” 

So with reluctance and half his attention still searching for the vehicle to come along with that phone, he began to change his flat tire. 45 minutes later, he was able to resume his trip. It was alarming how tempted he found himself to go home and grab his phone and then resume the trip. 

“Trust Me, son, you won’t need it.” 

“Hmrpmh! I’ve already seen evidence that may not be true!” Jared thought. Pride kept him going to his initial destination. He could just see himself as the only one who gave in. It wasn’t a picture he relished. An hour later, well after dark he reached his spot. He had to use his head lights to illuminate where he set his tent up. A niggling feeling kept creeping up on him that this was “cheating”. The moon was full, and given time his eyes would have adjusted just fine to set up without head lights. He was tired and cranky, so he compromised. He nibbled on an energy bar, one of three allowed as to resist the temptation to not cook a meal, aka: be lazy – again depending on modern conveniences instead of taking full responsibility to see to one’s needs. (With God’s help of course). 

He looked at his watch, 11:23pm glowed from his 1980’s watch. No digital devices were allowed. As part of the test, each night was to be wrapped up by reading of the Word and prayer. He prayed, pouted about the lack of cell phone, and went to bed. The Word could wait til morning. 

The next morning Jared emerged from his tent to a beautiful sunrise. The dew was thick, the air clean and the thought of a hike wiggled it’s way into his thoughts. His stomach also growled, the energy from the bar last night expelling itself in protest.The eggs and biscuits he brought sounded wonderful. The wet kindling mocked. Jared kicked himself immediately for not buying a bundle of that wood at the gas station. Then he kicked himself again for realizing that modern conveniences tended to be the first thing he missed. 

He grabbed an apple and his Bible and sat down to wait for the sun to dry the ground. It had been years since he actually read from a non-digitized form of the Bible. A fact he had refused to share with the group. It was surprising how hard it was to focus at first. Yet, Obadiah began to draw him in. Relief flooded his heart. He prayed for an hour and began to gather kindling as he prayed. An hour and a half later, he sat at the fire satisfied by his eggs and biscuits and reveling in nature. He thanked God for giving him this time. 

The day drew to a close with a tally of about 30 laments of all forms of modern tech, his cell phone repeatedly among them. Every time he wanted to take a picture he thought first of his phone. He  followed the protocol of noting the shift inside as he prayed for God to paint the picture instead in his soul. Yet kept the small argument of disappointment that he would not be able to share the scenery with his family and friends. After a dinner of corn bread and fish he sat around the fire, praising God aloud. A shooting star streaked green and red in a wide arc, taking his breath away. The nights reading was not neglected this time, and Jared snuggled down under the stars and found himself asleep well after the fire had went out. He didn’t bother to look at his watch, he just dumped water on the coals and slipped into the tent. The sounds of cicadas and owls fading the day into dreams. 

Day 2 dawned with a patter of rain. The smell of pine mingling with heavens shower-gift made Jared smile. He rose to find his bag of clothes had sat against the tent wall and was soaked. The smile of moments ago fading into a sigh and a prayer that it wouldn’t rain all day. It did. Damp, and near to death of boredom didn’t bring cheer as the rain faded around 4:17pm. The hope of a fire to warm him was gone. He thought to dry his clothes in the car with the heat on, and quickly dismissed the idea. With bitter taste in his mouth of his lack of ability to problem solve without the aid of modern tech soured his canned beans and grapes for dinner. He could hardly remember what he read in the Word that day. His thoughts consistently drawn to the desire for the rain to stop. His notes were loaded with complaint and lament. His ego now eroded as if the rain had poured down inside him all day, not just on the tent. He prayed and doused the fire as he did. This time making sure some wood came to sleep inside the tent with him in case the rain returned. Thanking God for giving him the foresight this time. Owls hooted and his eye lids drooped, sleep came. 

Day 3, final day. Jared was scheduled to be checked in with Paul by 4pm. It was the kind of day that tempted you to call in stuck or broke down. Soft breezes, steady warmth from the sun, deer and critters played around him. Not even breaking down his tent distracted. The food tasted fresher than he’d remembered in years. The sky screamed a blue he’d almost forgotten existed. Time flew and he knew if he didn’t leave soon he’d miss his deadline. Yet again he longed for his phone to call in late and stay another day. His eyes rolling, the tech bug bit again. All manner of motives brought him back to that idol, and he was sickened by it. To say his perspective had changed was an understatement. Though the trip had proved he could indeed live without creature comforts and rough it, physically. Mentally he realized he didn’t go a day without it invading his thoughts and it was sobering. He had no doubt the lesson would continue long after these mountains faded into the distance and the city came demanding his attention at mock speed. He prayed God would continue what He had started here in this trip and slowly remove the idol of technology from his heart. He determined he would no longer read his Bible digitally. He would thank God for every modern convenience from now on. He would practice problem solving without using technology. He would put to practice the lessons learned for the last three days and not stop. He admitted to God his helplessness to do so without Him and placed the sacrifice of his heart on the alter of God’s acceptance. 

That very last thing he noticed was that much of the Word He had read these last three days were being woven into action inside his heart. He remembered what he read, he remembered what Yeshua spoke to him in the moments back and forth between incidents and events, prayer and meditation. 

And he knew, pictures or not, what he would share about this trip would paint a far more lasting picture than 1000 photos on his phone. 

So, he sat there for two hours more, watching the sun set, knowing he’d still be checked in well before the twelve hour crisis line. For the first time, he actually resented the thought of using his cell phone. He was awake, as he’d not been in a long time…and he was not in hurry to sleep. 

✡ May the grace and the peace of Yeshua the Messiah be found alive and active in your hearts. May His presence alone, be all the comfort and security you need! ✡


1 Comment

  1. AWAKE – Parable | sevv61's Blog said,

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