The first cell phone I ever used was a flip phone the size of a brick. Mom carried it her purse. A few years later, we got a new phone. Much smaller. It didn’t flip open, but it was still the size of a brick. And we only used it for emergencies.
When I returned home to Kansas from my freshman year of college in 2002, I got my first phone that was just for me. At least, I think I did. That was a while ago.
With as much as my family drove, cell phones were a necessity for us as early as when I was 15. But for my entire life, I had always been tacked on to my parents’ cell phone plan. I didn’t get my own cell phone plan until a few years ago.
Seriously. Like 2014.
I switched carriers, started an account with a new provider, and got the free phone they offered with their new contracts.
Then, I left my job. I started working for myself. And that free phone crapped out. So I had a choice. I could go with another two-year contract, or I could try something I’d been wanting to do for a while—buy an unlocked phone.
Long story short: That’s what I did. I bought a Nexus 5x at the beginning of 2015, and it’s been one of the better investments I made in the last few years.
But I learned something. Those old free phones you’d get with two-year contracts never broke while they were under contract. Nothing ever went wrong with them in that two-year span. And by the time the two years were up, you’d get the chance to upgrade.
I had to buy my own phone, unlocked and not on sale, before I shattered the screen.
And, no, it wasn’t under warranty. No, I didn’t purchase the extra protection option. So I was pretty much out of luck when I dropped it on the wooden floor and watched the screen splinter like a broken windshield.
Fortunately though, it still worked. I could still do everything on it that I’d been doing before (email, social media, marketing, phone calls, texting, etc.). It was just harder to read because of the spider web cracks shooting across the surface.
The phone could still do its job.
But then—I was waiting on a very important phone call from a client. It was an interview I’d set up earlier, and I needed to talk to this person. If I could get the job finished, I’d get enough of a paycheck to fix the phone! So I needed it!
But here’s the problem. See, somehow my phone number has gotten onto somebody’s telemarketer list. I don’t know how. Maybe it’s the election too. But I get phone calls ALL the FREAKIN’ DAY LONG. From every state. And I don’t know any of the numbers. And every time I answered, it was a survey or an electronic call. So I just got into the habit of screening my calls. If I don’t know the number, I let it go to voicemail, and if they don’t leave a voicemail, I don’t worry about it.
So, my client called. And his number showed up on my screen. But the broken screen made the numbers look wonky, and I misread them.
Fortunately, I double checked at a different angle. I realized it was him calling, and I answered. I got my interview done, got my project submitted, got paid, and got my phone fixed. Yay!
But that got me thinking: Isn’t that just how sin works in our lives?
It shatters our perspectives on what’s right and what’s wrong. Our life still works. We still function. But our vision is askew. And when we face a choice of whether to turn right or turn left, we see the choice through the shattered screen of our broken perspectives. We misunderstand. We don’t comprehend. We think what’s good is bad, and we think what’s bad is good.
I might have missed that uber-important phone call if I hadn’t mistrusted my phone.
In life, we might miss opportunities God has given us if we refuse to understand that our hearts are selfish. We might take a wrong step and lose our way if we don’t mistrust the world. If we try to follow Jesus but keep looking at life through the filter of our flawed perception, we’ll never be able to grab hold of the life God wants for us, and we’ll leave the pile of blessings He wants to give us on the table.
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. Ezekiel 36:26-27
We’re all broken phones, folks. We function just fine, but we don’t see life truthfully. None of us sees the world as it is through our own eyes. None of us can see our sin for what it is without Jesus’ example.
So do what I did. I took my phone to a professional and had it repaired.
That’s what Jesus offers. Not only will He give us new life, new hope, new mercy every morning, and a new purpose, He’ll also give us a new perspective. And that’s something nobody should try surviving life without.