I noticed recently that my mobile phone was getting a bit bashed. It had dropped out of my pocket a few times and the casing was a bit chipped and scratched. The screen had survived (thankfully) but I wondered what I should do to enable the phone to survive at least beyond the length of the contract.
I looked online at different options. In the past I have bought a case for it that covered it completely and opened up a bit like a book but found that it was a bit cumbersome and awkward for those moments when I actually wanted to use the phone like a phone and talk to someone with it. Also, if truth be told, the case I bought was rather cheap and did not last very long.
I did look at whether I could buy a replacement casing for the phone and just replace the innards. I could buy a new back fairly cheaply but because it has a touch screen and that is bonded to the innards replacing the whole thing would be very difficult and expensive. And the bits that were chipped and scratched were the bits that were bonded to the screen that was bonded to the innards.
Then I found what I felt was the ideal solution. It is a cover that slides over the casing and also covers the edges that are chipped and scratched. It will protect the casing from further damage and, while rugged is also lightweight so I don’t feel like I am holding a brick against my ear on the occasions when I actually want to use the phone like a phone and talk to someone. I bought the cover online and it arrived very promptly, is built specifically for the model of phone that I own and looks quite good too.
However (didn’t you just know that there was a ‘however’?) there is a drawback. I have a holder for my phone in my car so I can use it hands-free and also utilise the satellite navigation app. Now that there is a cover on the phone it is just a little bit bulkier than the phone holder can comfortably accommodate. It’s marginal and I only discovered it when I was driving along and the phone jumped out of the holder and landed edge-first on my knee cap (painfully proving how hard the cover is). I have had to improvise a solution that includes a couple of strategically placed elastic bands pulling the arms of the holder together in order to keep the phone where I want it.
At this point, for those who have not switched off because of boredom, you will almost certainly be asking yourself (and me ‘virtually’) what the point of this little bloggage is. It’s not about phones, covers, or protecting what we own. The point is that life is a bit like this little episode. We find that one action has implications and repercussions for us in other areas. I have found that in accepting the call to a new role has implications and repercussions for my church, my family and for me. It also has implications and repercussions for my new colleagues and the churches I will be serving. On a less significant level, for example, getting locked out of your house might not only mean that you have a long wait outside, it may impact your neighbours (if they take pity on you), other members of your family (if you ask them to come and let you in) and for your health (if you get wet or sunburnt). [I should add that the second illustration is purely hypothetical and any similarity to actual events is purely coincidental.]
And the second way in which it is a bit like life is that we also have to improvise a lot. We don’t always know exactly what to do and have to improvise what we think is the best thing to do in the circumstances. Sometimes we discover that the implications and repercussions of the actions of others cause us to improvise a response.
So, if you are still with me at this point, let me make one more point. It is in the form of a paraphrase of part of the Bible (Romans 12:1-2, from The Message):
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Be blessed, be a blessing