Pushing myself onward out of sheer will, I crested the long and gradual hill. I kept running a little farther until my total distance was a little more than 5.5 km from when I started my run.

Why am I doing this? Oh right, because I’m insane and want to feel a sense of accomplishment when I run a 15 km race in just 3 weeks. Got it!

With a little boost in my spirits at the prospect of now getting to run down the hill I just ascended, I made my way down the long, gradual descent. At the bottom of the hill I had to make a right turn, one of the last ones before I reached my goal of running 11 km for the day. I went to check my phone to see how far I had run. But my phone was gone. What?!

Instead of pulling out my phone to see that I had probably run 8 km at this point, I stared down at a runner’s pack with an open zipper that had made it easy for my phone to fly out to who knows where somewhere along my journey down the hill.

Instantly I pictured my phone scattered on the pavement in dozens of pieces, the victim of a car whose driver was headed home. Foolishly I thought I could press on with my run and then go get my car and begin my search. This didn’t work out well as the thought of paying to replace my phone sucked all the motivation out of my lungs. I ran for a bit, then walked, then ran some more, and then decided to quickly walk back the remaining mile and a half to my car.

But along the way I made the best of a frustrating situation. I began to pray. For my phone. For coworkers. For anything that came to mind. I also tried to relax knowing this situation was out of my hands.

Eventually I drove back up the hill, looking on the ground the whole way to the top. My poor choice of a lime green phone cover probably didn’t help as I hoped to spot it somehow hovering above similarly colored grass alongside the road.

Nothing. So I prayed some more. I thanked Him for His provision. In my head I was laughing, realizing God sometimes uses the unexpected to draw us closer to Him.

About a half hour later, but what seemed like way longer, my stomach began to growl and I became dehydrated and exhausted. I began thinking of what plants might yield some water so I could do something about my thirst.

It was then that two friends drove by, smiling with the windows down, and one of them asked, “Looking for this?” Someone who lived on the hill showed my phone to a neighbor. My phone was locked, but the neighbor knew a friend of mine, whose name appeared in a notification on my phone. Eventually that friend figured out it was probably my phone and 2 ½ hours after I started my run, I was home.

Sometimes we set out a course for our life, thinking we know best, but God has other plans. Even as I look ahead to my time in Asia, I remind myself that it is very possible things will not go as I might think they will. I think back to my thought along my run and it relates well to my upcoming time in Asia.

Why am I doing this? Because God asked me to and He knows best!