Sinking & Syncing

That ‘ground swallow me up’ moment when you get home in good time for a Kirk session meeting after an excellent Manchester Sports Chaplaincy confab, only to find you’ve left your laptop behind! And so, for 32 long hours ‘MacBook Joe’ and I were separated until a tearful Falkirk re-union, late on Thursday evening! Mercifully Rev Martyn Reay was in the right place at the right time to bring ‘Joe’ northwards.

The pain of parting from precious belongings reminds me of a similar sinking moment, when I left hand-luggage under my seat on the New York subway. I failed to get it intercepted down the line and retreated to report my stupidity to transport police (for insurance purposes). Rather than bus to Boston, I drowned my sorrows in a coffee & bagel, and stayed another night with friend Terry.

On the phone, Terry’s mum was sympathetic to my plight and parted with, “We’ll pray you get your bag back Neil!” Immediately after putting the phone down it rang, instinctively I picked it up. It was the dad of a youngster who’d found my discarded bag in a park. They’d searched through its contents to find the only New York phone number and phoned it. Praise God we met on the Brooklyn Bridge, where I was delightedly re-united with my bag. Camera and journal were gone, but £60 cash and all other contents were still there!

What a diddy I was, leaving my laptop at my Manchester seat, a serious case of ‘hurry sickness’. But experience tells me to replace the ‘D’ of Disappointment with an ‘H’ and pray for ‘His-appointment’, a chance to recycle something good from ‘my bad’.

It was strange asking Martyn to photo my written diary, in my laptop bag, to show me what I was supposed to be doing. That ‘Syncing Feeling’ when you wish you kept an electronic diary synced with computer, iphone & ipad. The safety net of knowing my laptop contents are backed up (synced) on ‘icloud’ is great comfort, but even more supporting is the assurance that ‘all things’ are held together and synced by Almighty God. ‘Sinking Feelings’ can be transformed by the ‘Syncing Faith’ that God’s in control, nothing lost to His memory, knowledge and understanding.

“God knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” (Romans 8:28 / MSG)

It’s sobering how much I depend on technology for daily life, work and living. Without ‘Joe’ I was bereft, his return greeted like a Lazarus’ revival. There can be a fine line between icon & idol or between icloud & ‘me-myself-I-disease’. Technology is a great aid to serving God, but can easily take over, the ‘tail wagging the dog’. So, it was no bad thing to go without ‘Joe’ for a while to sort and sift priorities and who I depend on more. Mac Book Joe is a great friend, but he can never replace friendship in Jesus!