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The Great iPhone Disaster  

Smart folks do not let smartphones near water.

(And now the story).

Recently at our campground, eight-year-old Joslynn and I chugged around the lake in a paddle boat.  Fun!  Back on shore, Joslynn immediately asked if we could take the kayaks out for a spin.

Point of clarification: paddle boats have broad flat bottoms and are virtually impossible to capsize.  By contrast, kayaks are unstable, and easily dunked.  This insight came to me later, rather than earlier.

In approximately 18 inches of water, I managed to roll the kayak, thoroughly soaking myself—and the iPhone in my pocket. Rocketing out of the sandy muck, I dug for the phone, staggered out of the water, and rushed for a towel we did not have (we were boating, not swimming!). 

Like a stroke or heart attack, I knew time was not on my side.  Joslynn and I hurried back to the camper where I recalled that shoving a wet phone into a bag of rice might help it revive.  But who has rice at a campground?  Why…the next door neighbors, of course. The throes of death tentacled my device as the screen fogged, fuzzed, coughed and wheezed. I jammed it into the bag of rice and hoped for a miracle.  With the power finally switched off, I left the iPhone in a coma on life support.  And waited.

The next day, it would power up, but the screen was still somewhat trashed.  Yet it seemed to be receiving texts and emails.  My son, Tim, the acknowledged tech master of our family, crushed my fragile hopes with the assessment, “Bro, it’s over.”  I believed him.

Day three, we transferred all the photos off the phone while there was still a pulse.  The screen was considerably improved.  “Don’t let it fool you,” Tim said.  “The battery probably won’t hold a charge.”  But it did.

Day four, I stepped out in faith and declared the iPhone resurrected—the screen fully restored.  But I knew that even if that were true, another water disaster would likely seep into my future.  So I immediately priced out a water tight case. I wanted the assurance that if ever again I capsized a kayak or canoe I wouldn’t be out hundreds of dollars.  That very morning I bought a “Lifeproof” case.

This is a rare happy story in a long line of wireless woes, but also something of a cautionary tale.  It is well and good to want to protect a smartphone from disaster. But do we extend the same concern in protecting ourselves from sin?

Your body (and mine) is a “temple of the Holy Spirit.”   How much care have I extended in fighting gluttonous impulses every time somebody at the office brings in doughnuts?  What kind of protections do we make to keep our online experiences free from sexual imagery?  What about our choices in movies, books and music?  Do we have a “lifeproof” case for that?  Or are we just sort of hoping we won’t get capsized by sin?

Having baptized other phones, my “Lifeproof” purchase shows it’s not a question of if—but when—I’m going to face a disaster.  How dare we be one whit less defensive when it comes to sin!




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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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