I pawed at my pockets and threw a wild glance around the bunkroom. My phone was gone.
We’d just arrived back at the station after responding to a report of a vehicle on fire. We hadn’t even made it to the scene before getting canceled by the first arriving unit. It was only a disabled vehicle.
The bottom of my stomach dropped out as I realized my phone and hat were probably lying on the side of the road somewhere. Most likely on the interstate.
I hurried my partner into the truck and retraced our route. About a half mile up the interstate I noticed my hat and cell phone case resting on the shoulder of the busy highway. I hollered at my partner to stop the truck.
I approached as a feeling of dread washed over me like dirty swamp water. I scooped up my hat and turned it over. It was fine. I peered ahead a few more yards to where my case had landed. It was empty.
I scanned the road a few seconds before locating my phone. As you can see in the picture above, it didn’t survive.
A handful of minutes later found me sitting on my bed in a less than stellar mood. There were a few things upsetting me. One was the money I was going to fork over to replace my phone. But the biggest issue twisting my gut was everything I wasn’t gonna be able to do without it. And that’s when I heard the Lord begin to speak.
He told me, “Don’t confuse the things you can live without with the one person you can’t.”
Five years ago the Lord asked my wife and I to give up cell phones. We did for over a year and discovered (to our surprise) it wasn’t very hard to live without them. God reminded me of that period of time as I slumped on my bed feeling sorry for myself, and worrying about getting through the next few days.
I raised my eyes at the memory and, after a few minutes going back and forth, acknowledged that I can live without my phone for as long as it takes to get a new one. I muttered the words confirming the only thing I couldn’t live without is Jesus.
Peace began to rise up from my belly and I laughed out loud. It was going to be okay.
There are things that have been planted in our lives. Some of them have grown roots deep enough to make us believe we could never live without them. It doesn’t have to be a cell phone or an electronic device at all. It can be anything. But whatever it is, it’s founded on a lie.
The only thing we can’t live without is Jesus. Our adversary will scream and shout and drive us into worry, stress, dread, and bad decisions if we don’t find our way back to the truth of this foundation.
This is abundant life! To know that our worth, value, security, significance, and more are not held together by the things we buy or gain by any means. Rather they are held together, as all things are, by the hands of Jesus.
Things that we acquire in this world can fall away. But Jesus never will. He’s our constant. It begins with an acknowledgement. My name is Jesse and I can live without a cell phone.
Jesse and Kara Birkey