Don’t Blame Your Distractions on the Owls

Distractions. We all have them, and we all blame them on something. My phone disaster showed me that I shouldn't blame my distractions on the owls. #distractions #Christian #spiritualhealth #selfcare #salvation #fmfparty #selfawareness

Distractions. We all have them, and we all blame them on something. My phone disaster showed me that I shouldn’t blame my distractions on the owls.

Distractions. We all have them, and we all blame them on something. My phone disaster showed me that I shouldn't blame my distractions on the owls. #distractions #Christian #spiritualhealth #selfcare #salvation #fmfparty #selfawareness

Barn Owls Under a Bridge

I blame it on the owls. They provided the distraction that led to my phone falling out of my pocket and tumbling into the reddish waters under the bridge. 

I spent ten minutes on the slippery bank groping on the steep, rock-covered sides of the wash to no avail. Now, I knew I’d have to give up. Fortunately, I had Apple Care and wouldn’t lose too much money on my careless mistake. I dialed Apple from my watch to ask what I needed to do to replace my phone.

“I’m sorry, Ma’am,” the operator said, “it doesn’t look like you have Apple Care on that phone.” 

“Really?” I tried to keep the shock out of my voice. “I’m sure I purchased it.”

“We have no record of it,” the operator said. “I’m sorry. Is there anything else that I can help you with?”

“No.” I hung up and headed to WalMart. Maybe if I had a fishing net, I could reach further into the wash and snag my phone. Whether or not it would work, well, I didn’t want to ask that question.

Why didn’t I have Apple Care? 

Distractions

As I stood in line waiting to get into WalMart, I remembered. We had purchased the phone at an Apple store, late in the day. I bought it because genius had just explained how my Apple Care plan wouldn’t cover a new battery in my old phone. 

Distractions. We all have them, and we all blame them on something. My phone disaster showed me that I shouldn't blame my distractions on the owls. #distractions #Christian #spiritualhealth #selfcare #salvation #fmfparty #selfawareness

I didn’t want to purchase insurance in the moment because I couldn’t decide if it really had a value for me. If I waited for a few weeks, I could make the decision when I felt less emotional. 

The distraction of the end of the semester, vacation, holidays, and family visiting pushed the decision out of my mind. The deadline for adding Apple Care passed. 

After waiting 20 minutes to get into WalMart, I found an inexpensive fisherman’s net and headed back to the bridge. As I returned to the area where my phone had fallen in the water, I once again noticed the sign warning of unstable banks. 

I shucked my sweater, my shoes, and my socks and found a skinny bush to hang on to as I waded deeper into the water and swept the net back and forth. The owls didn’t even wake up, despite my splashing. Each time my feet slipped on the steep banks and rocks, I clutched the limbs of the bush more tightly.

No luck. I felt so sad that my distraction had made me miss out on two opportunities to purchase insurance. “Father God,” I whispered under my breath, “we don’t really have money to replace my phone right now. And I really need my phone.”

Not Really the Owls

I sighed as I surveyed all the places I’d swept the bottom of the wash. I’d only caught rocks in my net. “Turn around and search one last time,” popped into my head. I leaned out into the water on the other side of my search grid—far from where I’d seen my phone bounce into the water. 

Within seconds, I felt my phone. I squealed and yanked it out of the water. I flipped it over, gave it a shake, and wondered if the water had ruined it.

The front camera unlocked the password, and I held up the phone in shock. It worked!

My distraction, not the owls, really caused my phone to tumble into the water. Distraction made me put off a decision to purchase insurance. 

How many times in my life had distractions drowned out God’s still, small voice when I got caught up in my everyday life? I breathed a prayer of thanks and remembered something a pastor once preached, “There’s no better time than now to reach out to the one who loves you the most.”

Don’t blame your distractions on the owls of life. Jesus waits for you to reach out to him. The evil one loves to use distraction, but Jesus patiently waits for us to claim an insurance deal better than anything Apple can offer. Abundant life now, and forever (John 10:10). 

Don't let the owls (or anything else) distract you from the most important decision you'll ever make. #fmfparty #distraction Click To Tweet

9 Comments

  1. I love this story! I would love to see barn owls up close (though I don’t envy your phone being dropped in the water). I think this a time of big time distraction for a lot of us. I hope we can all find a way to tune in to hear His voice.

  2. Don’t blame it on the hootin’ owls,
    nor on the coyotes, neither,
    even when they ups and howls
    and won’t give you a breather
    to try to get some needed rest
    after hobblin’ your horse;
    just go and take it for the best
    that this will be your course,
    another night in paradise,
    out on the open range,
    eatin’ beans and eatin’ rice
    and feelin’ pretty strange
    when the moon’s horizon-clear,
    and for a second, Heaven’s here.

  3. Oh how I love this story! So glad you were able to retrieve your phone and get the photos of the owls. I’m pretty sure I let distractions get in the way of hearing and doing what God’s said. Thanks for the reminder that He’s waiting for us to “give a hoot” and reach out! (Sorry couldn’t resist!)

  4. This is a great story. I”m glad you received the little nudge “Turn around and search one last time.” It reminds me of Jesus telling the fishermen to put their nets on the other side of the ship. God hears our prayers. A blessing that you found your phone AND it worked!

  5. What a great story! We can so easily get distracted by what’s around us like the owls. I’m glad you found your phone.

  6. I love your story. I know you referenced it in a comment a week ago or so on my blog. I really like how you wrapped this up.

    Don’t blame your distractions on the owls of life. Jesus waits for you to reach out to him. The evil one loves to use distraction, but Jesus patiently waits for us to claim an insurance deal better than anything Apple can offer. Abundant life now, and forever.

  7. What a great story! It sounds like you are game for just about anything (wading in to find your phone) and a whole lot more patient than most. It sounds like you got a phone and a Word from that distraction. It must have been planned just for you.

  8. Great story!! I would probably have done the same for a chance to see the owls. 😉 But also I do the same things with getting distracted from making decisions and putting them off. It’s so easy to blame this that and the other, when really it was me being too easily distracted.

  9. Whew! I’m glad it worked! So many times I’ve allowed distractions to lead me away from the nudge of the Holy Spirit only to realize consequences later. Great story to illustrate the point.

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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