I poured out the contents of my tote in desperate search of the lost flash drive. The one I borrowed and that contained a presentation I would deliver the coming weekend. The one I wanted to put in a secure place. Apparently, I succeeded. Even I couldn’t find it.
Day planner, cell phone, wallet, lipsticks, pens, keys, ear buds, Cold-Eze lozenges … all fell on my desk. Everything but the flash drive I pictured myself placing in the side pocket three days ago. Holding the tote upside down, I shook it vigorously to ensure the three-inch memory stick wasn’t stuck in some corner. Nothing.
I emptied drawers. More pens, lead refills, a timer, plastic ware, a health bar, scissors, Kleenex, spare pantyhose (does anyone even wear these anymore?), and post-its. But no flash drive.
“Did I give you my flash drive?” I asked my secretary, hoping she could produce it .
“No, you took it back from me to review your presentation.” Heavy sigh. Maybe I left it at home. As soon as I hit the back door, I marched to my office and rummaged through all eight desk drawers. Twice. Still nothing.
The next morning I made one final sweep through my office. Defeated and resigned that I lost the borrowed flash drive, a friend’s lesson on prayer drifted into my mind, “I pray the ‘axe head’ prayer when I lose something. The one about Elisha in 2 Kings.” What was that story again?
A group of prophets and Elisha walked to the Jordan River to build a new meeting-house. While cutting down trees, one prophet’s ax head flew off the handle and sunk in the river. He cried to Elisha that it was borrowed. Elisha asked, “Where did it fall?” When the prophet showed him, Elisha cut a stick and threw it into the water at that spot. The ax head floated to the surface.
Half-heartedly I bowed my head and prayed, “Lord, I lost the memory stick. Apparently distracted again instead of paying attention to where I laid it. Unless there’s a good reason You want me to buy another, please float it to the surface. Only You can retrieve it. Amen.”
I turned to sign on to my computer and shifted the keyboard to a more comfortable position. A slash of red and gray surfaced from beneath the number keys. My flash drive! Right where I laid it while trying to think of a safe and secure place to put it.
As if to impress upon me that there was more to this than just a “magic” prayer, the found memory stick and Elisha’s miracle stalked my mind all day. I walked away with three lessons…
1. Admit when I lose my “edge.” Caught in the swirl of busyness, work that I began with good intentions and enthusiasm dissolved into just another task to hurry up and check off my list. I lost sight of why I was doing what I was doing.
2. Determine why I lost my “edge.” For me, I fell back into my habit of working to exhaustion out of fear one moment would be wasted. I forgot to pause periodically, refresh, and take stock. To listen for His voice to see where He was at work or setting direction.
3. Determine where I lost my “edge.” Like Elisha who asked the worker where he last had the ax head, I needed to ask, “Where did I last have my “edge?” Where was I last walking in stride with God and His purpose?
And when He surfaced that place in my heart, I grabbed it. Thank you, Lord, for giving me yet another chance to recover my “edge” for your glory.
“When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it into the water at that spot. Then the ax head floated to the surface. “Grab it,” Elisha said. And the man reached out and grabbed it.” (2 Kings 6:6-7, NLT)
©2012 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. e-mail.