Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Revenge of the Luddites

Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

Are you familiar with that annoying "law"?
I feel like it's the story of my life, I tell ya!
But the good news is, God is bigger than anything, and He's in all of it. Good thing, too, or I might not have made it to the retreat for which I was speaking this past weekend.
See, the thing is, usually whenever I travel anywhere I map out my trip ahead of time, and write the directions down on an information sheet I keep for each speaking event. But since a certain significant person in my life often accuses me of being a Luddite, I have begun to change my ways. That is, I have begun relying on the GPS on my phone.
Instead of the old fashioned practice of using ink and paper.

So, Friday I spent the night with my daughter, because Wheaton is a short distance from where the retreat was being held - and I really didn't want to drive 4+ hours on Saturday morning. Anyway, I was bunking with my girl Friday and after going out to dinner with Elizabeth, her beau and a couple of her roommates, I was ready for sleep. I got my jammies on, plugged in my phone (but didn't turn it off like I usually do, because it was serving as my alarm clock) and snuggled up on the couch.
Saturday morning I woke up before my alarm (Guess I could have turned my phone off over night after all.), got ready for the retreat, and was on my way. Of course, before I walked out the door I entered the address of the retreat location on my phone so I would know how to get where I was going. However, somewhere between walking out the door and pulling out of my parking spot I must have inadvertently touched the screen and changed the location on the GPS. At first I followed the directions even though they weren't what I was expecting because I figured, the phone knows. But when, "Continue for 112 miles," came out of the speaker, I knew something had gone terribly wrong. So I pulled over to the side of the highway and re-entered the address I needed.
Got turned around, was heading the right way, and felt especially thankful that I tend to plan too much extra time for trips such as these. Until...
I glanced at my phone to see how far it was until my next exit and - and, for some reason the screen was black. So I swiped it, but nothing happened. And I pressed the little button on the front, but still nothing happened. So I picked it up and tried the power button. And it came back to life.
Except, instead of going to the usual screen, it was all white and said something like, "Low Battery warning. Battery at 5%. Charge now, stupid!" And I'm all, Whaaa???? I plugged it in last night. What happened? Which was just about the moment I realized I never actually looked to see that it was charging. Didn't have the presence of mind to also realize how good it would have been to have the foresight to know I didn't need to leave it on all night, because I would wake up before the alarm, anyway.
Yeah, didn't think about the irony of that circumstance. Instead, I began praying, God, I need you to get me to this thing. And I threw in a plea for my phone battery.
Buuuuut, the phone died before God had a chance to answer that one, so I was left with my thoughts - and the deep regret that I'd opted for the non-Luddite plan for getting to the retreat.
Which is when I decided to go ultra-Luddite.
That is, I stopped to ask for directions.
I had no time to waste, so I stopped at the first place I could find. A retirement center. The irony was dripping all around me! Unfortunately, the first person I encountered couldn't help me. Fortunately, the second one could. In fact, she led me to a row of computers (Which are apparently for the use of the residents. More irony.) and let me check in with my faithful friend, Mapquest. I wrote down the directions, Luddite-style, and made my way back to the van. (Obstacles totaling approximately another 10-15 minutes surfaced, but I'll spare you the details. *eye roll*)

The good news? I got back on the road and this time felt assured I was heading the right way. (Though I wished I could call the retreat coordinator and let her know I was coming - since I originally told her I would aim to arrive 90 minutes prior to the current time. But I couldn't because, um, dead battery.)
Regardless, I had my old-fashioned, hand-written, Luddite-style directions and - with them - I made it to the retreat.
With a little time to spare.

Guess who has now committed to ink-on-paper directions, from here to eternity and beyond?


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