Road Maps

At the end of our driveway stands a new mailbox. Its presence marks the end of a long road of frustration that began when the mail carrier drove up to our old one and opened the lid with such force that a hinge broke, causing it to fall to the pavement below.

When repeated attempts to fix the hinge failed, Bill wired the top of the lid to the box to keep it from flopping open every time the carrier forgot to treat it with care.

I read once that people will do what’s important to them at their own inconvenience. What I didn’t catch was: When? When does the pain of ‘what is’ become enough to motivate us to work toward what can be? For me, the moment came when I tried to squeeze an armload of letters out of a half-open mailbox and imagined how hard it must have been for the postal worker to slide them in there.

I’ve met a lot of people who refused to start a project until they knew exactly how it would end. The problem with this approach is that God never gives us a complete road map. Instead, He wants us to step out in faith and trust that the journey will eventually lead to the finish line.

My first step was to call a customer service representative from Frontgate, because I had seen a mailbox that looked like ours in their catalog. The person I spoke to gave me the name of the manufacturer and, after confirming that ours was made by the same company, I called them about replacing the lid. To my delight, the one that our builder purchased came with a lifetime warranty.

A few weeks later, the broken lid was a distant memory and it wasn’t just our mail carrier who noticed.

“I need to fix mine too,” a neighbor said when he saw Bill replacing ours.

After seeing the bad condition that his was in and comparing it to the flawless appearance of ours, it occurred to me that people, like mailboxes, stand side by side. Some looking more worn than others: All able to be made new with a single leap of faith and the decision to say ‘no’ to the status quo and ‘yes’ to the delivery of God’s very best in life.

“For we live by faith, not by sight.”

2 Corinthians 5:7

Five of My Favorite iPhone Apps

I’m always on the lookout for ways to put my iPhone to better use. Below are five applications that I downloaded from the App Store and use regularly, if not every day:

  1. Evernote – This is my most used and favorite free app. It’s almost like a mini-filing system that I can access from an iPad, Mac, or any PC.
  2. TurboScan – I blogged about this software in my other March 4th post and, like Evernote, use it several times a day.
  3. Flixster – This is my favorite app to check movie showtimes, read reviews, and watch trailers. It has saved me on countless occasions from going to mediocre movies that I would otherwise regret paying to see.
  4. Twitter – I use this micro-blog to store my favorite quotes. It’s almost like a mini-journal that my daughters can look back on one day.
  5. Beat the Traffic – If you live in a high traffic area, this app is great because it allows you to see which roads are congested and take an alternate route. In many areas, there are cameras posted which allows users to look at the roads themselves and make real-time decisions. How cool is that?

Although I am a techie at heart, these apps are so easy to learn that even a novice could use them. I know because more times than I can count, that novice has been me. And with every mastered experience, I reached the same conclusion: When the person who is standing in the way of progress is you (or me), maybe it’s time to move; because when we step outside our comfort zone for long enough, we’ll see that we belong there.