If you’ve ever spent tyme in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, you know that the weather patterns are not really patterns, but rather a series of guessing games. Perhaps that’s true for other areas as well, but here in the Valley we make speculations rather than predictions and we don’t put much trust in any of it. Someone asks, “Will it rain?” Someone asks, “Will it snow?” We just answer “it depends on the whether…whether it does or whether it doesn’t”.
I remember one early December day a few years ago that kind of shocked us Shenandoah-ians. The temperatures were on the warmer side for the tyme of year, so no one expected to wake up to six inches of snow. Now, it wasn’t just any snow; it was that wet, heavy, hang on the trees, great snowball making kind of snow. It was really quite beautiful, which is saying something coming from a warm weather person like myself.
Now, because of the warmer temperatures, the roads were easily cleared and drivable far earlier than on a cold day, so I decided to go on an outing. I called up a friend and by early afternoon we were headed south to view Falling Springs Falls just outside of Covington, Virginia. The drive was absolutely gorgeous and, being aspiring photographers, we got some wonderful shots along the way.
As we drove along, we stopped at picturesque locations, all the while remarking about the fact that we were looking at six inches of snow, but barely needed a jacket. We did not, however, make such comments when we arrived at our destination. In fact, our remarks were quite the opposite. The waterfall was only an hour and a half down the road, but clearly it too far from the Valley to be embraced by its balmy temperatures.
Now bundled up with every piece of clothing and winter accessory we could find, my friend started down the path to the overlook. I decided to do some exploring elsewhere, something that did not last long due to the glacial-like temperatures. I met up with my friend and we proceeded to take pictures of the booming waterfall. We snapped shots, working for interesting angles while being mindful of our slick surroundings, until our fingers were too numb to push the buttons on our cameras.
Moments later we were back in the car, thanking the Lord for a working heater and headed back to what we hoped would be our unseasonably warm Valley. As we journeyed home, we decided to call our respective families to inform them that our trip was successful and we were safely on the highway, headed home. As I reached for my cell phone, a phone I had just weeks before purchased, a moment of panic swept through me. It was not in my pocket. I thought for a moment and tried to recall the last tyme I had it and what I did with it. After serious contemplation I was faced with the realization that on my wayward excursion, I dropped my new phone.
By this tyme darkness had set in and the hopes of retrieving my phone were gone. I have to admit that I went through a series of emotions on the matter, but, shortly there after, I moved on and didn’t think much more about it, at least not until nearly ten months later.
It was September of the following year and unfortunately, the fall foliage around home was somewhat drab. The summer had been dry and in turn, the trees did not produce their usual, vibrant colors. Determined to get some stunning fall pictures, I decided to go on a quest for beautiful foliage. I called up the same friend that went with me the previous December and away we went.
Curious about how Falling Springs Falls would look in the Fall, we drove back down to Covington, Virginia. As we neared out destination, we recalled the details of our last visit and I got it in my head that, just for fun, I would try to find my lost phone.
Upon our arrival, I learned that nearly a year’s worth of tyme can really alter a landscape. I tried to follow the path I’d taken in the winter, but everything was grown up and nothing looked the same. I searched for a bit and decided it was a lost cause. Just as I was about to give up, something told me to look in a different spot. Wouldn’t you know it, there laid my phone, seemingly unscathed by the elements. I looked it over and aside from a little dirt on the outside, my LG flip phone had survived more than a collective five feet of snow, inches of rain and every other bit of weather we’d received throughout the year. I was flabbergasted!
When I got home, I pulled out the phone’s changer and plugged it in just to see what would happen. I hit the power button and…the phone actually worked! Again, I was astounded!
I never went back to using that phone; instead I keep in on my dresser as a daily reminder of God. How does my cell phone remind me of God you wonder? Well, I realized when I found my phone exactly where I had left it that God is the same way. Whether we intentionally put Him aside or we inadvertently walk away from Him, He will always be right where we left Him and He’s going to work when we go back to find Him.
My phone never left me, I left it. God never leaves us, but we leave Him. We stumble, we stray, we fail, we falter, but God never stops working for us. I felt lost without my phone. I couldn’t get in touch with my family and if something went wrong, I couldn’t have called for help. Such are the feelings of a wayward Christian; lost and out of touch. The difference is, I had to drive back to where I lost my phone in order to find it, where as God, He is always just a prayer away! All we need to do is call His name and we can be back in His hands just like my phone was in mine.
So, if somewhere along the way, you lost God or intentionally put Him aside, stop and give Him a call; He’s there, no phone required!!!