Img_0128_7 If we are willing to wake-up to the lessons of life, we can learn them most anywhere at anytime.  I had just woken-up on Indian Rocks Beach near Clearwater Florida.  We were on our family spring-break vacation.  We had the whole family laid-out under the sun.  I decided to pull my iPOD from our beach bag to enjoy a few tunes.  It was there that my IPOD taught me about the iMPORTANCE of connection!

I placed the earplug cords such that I could run them to my ears from behind rather than from the front (who wants their chest tan to include a white streak from your iPOD earplug cord running across your body!).  I got all situated and picked up the iPOD to make my song selection.  The sun was brightly baking down and diminishing my ability to easily see my iPOD screen.  I finally managed to focus and select a song.  Then I tried to adjust the volume.  I could still barely see the screen, but with what I could tell, I was correctly doing everything to adjust the volume upward.  But there was no sound.  I kept trying to adjust it.  Even when I turned it to full-volume I could just slightly hear anything.  I was getting increasingly frustrated.  I mean, how hard could this be?  But I kept trying … determined to get it to work.

Finally, exhausted from trying, I did what all smart parents do when they have a technology issue.  I begged for help from my 15-year-old daughter.  Julie walked over with confidence and took control.  But no matter what she did, there was still no sound … except for a very distant sound when she cranked it to full-volume.  As I reached to readjust the earplugs in my ear, I discovered the problem.  In the midst of being so concerned about getting the cords all set under me rather than on top of me, I had pulled the earplugs out of my ears.  No wonder there was no sound!  It was only at full-volume that I could hear a slight sound as the earplugs sat on my beach towel beneath my ears!

Julie lost it.  Her contagious laughter got us both uncontrollably laughing.  It woke the whole family from their sunny slumber as they all enjoyed laughing at me … certainly not with me!  After all had settled down, I reset the tunes and adjusted the volume to the perfect setting for this beautiful beach scene.

It was there that it hit me … the iMPORTANCE of connection!  It didn’t matter how much I worked on trying to fix the volume on the iPOD … and nor did it matter who I asked to help me solve the problem.  My efforts were focused on the wrong problem.  The problem wasn’t with the iPOD.  In fact the iPOD was working perfectly.  The problem was with ME!  I wasn’t connected.  I wonder how much needless effort we invest on a problem that doesn’t exist … on something that only appears to be a problem simply because we are not connected

As I basked in the sun and listened to my tunes, my mind drifted from connection to connection … friends, clients, family and God.  I thought of frustrating problematic conversations.  And prayers that seemed unanswered.  It made me want to return to the basics and recommit to connection.

Sometimes you need to put your hands to your ears and recheck the connection.  You might be amazed at what you start to hear … and see … and experience!