We hit the road for the long Easter weekend early Good Friday morning. I don’t really know why it is called Good Friday, given the fact that Jesus was brutally murdered on that day. Oh, but did good come out of it two days later. Hallelujah.
My girls weren’t the happiest of campers having to get up at 6:30 am after a long week of school to go out of town. But we knew the traffic would be horrific if we waited to leave any later. We took two cars, so my husband could come back early Monday morning for work while the girls and I would come home later in the day because they didn’t have school on Monday.
We stopped halfway to our destination at a Starbucks. While inside, my youngest daughter, Lizzie, handed me her phone and coffee so she could go to the restroom.
Such a simple act that wound up being a huge error in judgment.
I was carrying coffee, phones and bags of goodies to the parking lot and stopped at my husband’s car to give him his Starbucks treats. I set everything that I would be taking to my car on the trunk of his car while I gave him his things.
I got back to my car and our caravan hit the road. Just as we were about to get on the highway, Lizzie asked me for her phone. The one I put on the trunk of my husband’s car.
Caroline, ever resourceful and calm as a cucumber in a stressful situation, pulled up Find My iPhone on her phone. She pinged Lizzie’s phone. Dead silence in the car.
Except for the sound of my beating heart.
As we were on the highway, I called my husband, who was a couple of cars in front of us and asked him if he remembered seeing Lizzie’s phone on the trunk of his car. He said, “WHAT? You mean in Houston?”
This wasn’t going so well…
Caroline proceeded to actually see where the runaway phone was on the Find My iPhone map.
“Mom. The map shows we just passed it. It’s on the highway.”
I looked in the rear view mirror and saw Lizzie just staring at the ceiling in complete silence.
I called my husband a second time to tell him the news and I was fully expecting him to say, “Well, first and foremost, Julie, you are and idiot, and secondly we just have to buy her a new phone.”
I heard him say in a calm voice that did not match my own, “Let’s u-turn when we can and go back and look for it.”
ON THE HIGHWAY?????
With every rotation of my car’s wheels, Caroline was giving an update on the location of the phone on the virtual map. I have always thought that Find My iPhone would give you a general location – like maybe it would show that the phone was in a goat field five miles away.
As we are on the other side of the highway looking to loop around again, Caroline said, “We just passed it. It’s on the other side of where we are now.”
This isn’t a good Friday.
We pulled over into a parking lot on the feeder road. I literally don’t know where my brain was, because I wasn’t even thinking twice about running across a feeder road, narrow shoulder and four lane divided highway in flip flops. I think my husband was worried I was going to make some stupid decision so he was right on my heels in his flip flops, too.
The whole time I was thinking how I was going to explain this to my mother. Yes, I am almost 50 and apparently still 10 inside.
We crossed the feeder and started walking alongside the highway with our heads down looking for the stupid phone. Caroline called from the car she and her sister stayed in and told us, “It’s across from Panda Express!” We look up and see Panda Express in our line of sight so we knew we had to be close. Unless, of course, it’s really at the goat farm five miles down the road and the Find My iPhone people are having a huge laugh at our expense.
We saw an opening on the highway where there were no cars in sight and we darted across two lanes to the grassy median. I was in mid-straddle on the barrier wires my husband told me to hop because of safety (a little late for that!) at the median when I heard him say, “There it is.”
Just as calmly as he would say, “Can you pass the Tabasco?”
I started causing all sorts of commotion and then quickly sobered up and realized we were standing in the middle of a highway. I yelled, “Go Go Go!!” as we shot across the highway, shoulder and feeder to get back to our car. I am sure I acted like we were in the Navy Seals training for a special op.
Maybe I need to work a little more excitement into my life.
The phone was missing its case, but it was completely intact…maybe some scratches and scrapes, but fine. Amazing.
My girls told me their dad was walking briskly, but calmly to the car and I was running like a kid on Christmas morning flailing my arms in the air with the phone in one hand. That pretty much sums up our personalities.
We went to great lengths to recover something that was precious to our daughter. It sounds silly to talk about a phone that way. But when something is lost that means a lot to someone you love, you want to find it (especially when you are responsible for losing it).
But you might not imagine playing dodge car on a four lane divided highway to do so. If I would work that hard to find a phone, I can only imagine how hard I would work to find something even more precious.
This Easter weekend I am reminded how God went to great lengths to recover what was precious to Him.
When Jesus sacrificed His life on the cross that Good Friday over two thousand years ago, we were given the chance to be found by Him.
Because we are that precious to Him. Way more precious than an iPhone.