A while back my wife and I decided we could save money by going to an internet based phone. In truth it has saved us quite a bit considering it is about one half the cost of a regular land based phone. Generally, the phone works very well, with no detectable differences from what we had before through the phone company. There is however one thing it does that is very annoying. From time to time the phone stops working sometimes in the middle of a call. While this doesn't happen too often the drop in service is disruptive because it, as you might expect, comes at an inconvenient time--we either are expecting a call or are in need of making one (Isn't this stating the obvious—if we didn't need to use the phone we would never notice it wasn't working would we?) After several calls to technical support, using my cell phone hoping that the cell call doesn't drop due to the fact we have poor cellular signals in our area, I learned that the problem is that the internet phone device from time to time simply loses the signal and needs to reboot.
Today was one of those days. We were expecting an important call. The phone rang. We answered but there was nothing—no sound—no busy signal—no anything. I called technical support using my the cell phone huddling close to the cell signal booster. The friendly technician told me what I already knew; the problem was not in the internet system but in my receiver I just had to reboot. When I told him I had already done that and the phone still wasn't working, he gave me the old leveler, “How long have you waited? With the phone box you have it can take up to forty-five minutes for the system to reacquire the necessary signal.” Ignoring the fact that forty-five minutes does not seem to me to be a reasonable amount of time to be without a dependable phone, I waited the prescribed amount of time and sure enough the signal was reacquired and once again we were connected to the outside world with a working “land” phone--which is so much better than the tin cans on strings you find featured on soup commercials (the fact that any one would buy soup from a company too cheap to use real phones is beyond me, but that is an issue for another day).
While this was going on with the phone, I got to thinking (which is something I should do more often I guess) of some spiritual applications to all this. And when I got to thinking I thought of the old formula of how we sometimes lose our connection to our Heavenly Father. We try to reconnect and there seems to be nothing there—no sound—no busy signal—no anything. The problem of course, like our phone is not in the system but something on our end of things. As was the case with our phone, Something has interrupted the signal; we have to reacquire the signal; we have to reboot.
The I began to draw analogies, thinking (all this thinking can give one a headache you know) of what causes us to lose our spiritual signal. What causes us to lose touch with God? While there is no shortage of answers, simply put, time and again, we get distracted due to circumstances in our lives and come to the point where we take our eyes off the One Who can handle all those circumstances, leaving us to try to work things out on our own. The resulting feelings of discouragement and desertion lead all too often to questions of whether God really does care. Our attempts to reconnect—to reboot—can seem so futile when we try to re-establish a relationship often long in a state of disrepair.
It can take time to reconnect with God. While it is best not to lose connection in the first place, we need to look at what has drawn our attention away from Him. In a world where so many things pull away from the knowledge of God, we need to note these and consistently take time to truly seek Him, spending time in his Word and in prayer, opening ourselves up to His instruction and leading. Only then will we be able to know His presence when things around us do not make sense. But in order to do this we need to reexamine our priorities. Circumstances can and will continually get such a hold of us when these are not right. As long as our priorities revolve around ourselves and not Him we will never be satisfied and are open to broken communication and the destructive domination of circumstances. The answer lies in who is in control of our lives. Only when we willingly submit to His Lordship will we have our priorities right. Accordingly, when we feel circumstances in control and separated from God, we need to reboot by examining ourselves, confess where we have gone wrong and turn it all over to Jesus. The rest will follow.