by Father Mark Goldasich
Honestly, I thought I’d entered “The Twilight Zone.”
I could almost hear Rod Serling in the background saying, “There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area we call the Twilight Zone.” (Cue the eerie music.)
So, what triggered this? It was something very simple: I lost my Fitbit Charge, one of those step-tracking devices that look like a wristwatch.
My last recollection of it was at 6:31 p.m. on Feb. 22. I’d just checked the time as I headed out of the sacristy to do Benediction to conclude our parish’s Lenten Monday eucharistic adoration. After Benediction, I set up the altar for Mass the next day, turned out the lights and locked the doors.
I then drove back to the rectory and had supper. Afterwards, I washed my hands in the bathroom. It had become a habit to push my Fitbit higher up my arm before getting my hands wet. Although the device is water resistant, it’s not waterproof, so I was always careful. This night, I went to push up the Fitbit . . . but it was gone! And that’s when my Twilight Zone began.
I knew that I didn’t take it off to recharge it, but checked the recharging cable anyway. Nothing. I didn’t panic. Hey, how far could it have gone? I’d only been to church, then to my car, then home. It would be easy enough to find. Just to be safe, though, I offered a quick prayer to St. Anthony, reminding him that I’d visited his shrine in Padua a few years ago. (I thought that might guilt him into helping me quickly.)
Wanting to do my part, though, and not leave it all up to St. Anthony, I hauled out the flashlight and began to comb the floors of my duplex. I checked every room, peeked under the bed, chairs and couch. No device. It must be over at church, I thought. I can just look for it after morning Mass.
I sat down to proofread some Leaven pages, but my mind was so obsessed with the Fitbit that I couldn’t concentrate. I headed over to the parish center and checked the sacristy and its cabinets. Nothing. Flashlight in hand, I looked all around the altar area and the parish center, scoured the hallways and my office. Nada. I even checked the tabernacle, in case the Fitbit had fallen off when I replaced the Eucharist after Benediction. No luck. I then moved to the parish parking lot and searched diligently but came up empty.
The next morning, I searched the inside of my car, the parking lot and the parish center . . . again. Nothing. I was going to give up when I realized that I hadn’t checked one place: the trash. Armed with gloves, I pawed through the disgusting mess, but only came away with nausea.
I was seriously losing my sanity. Where in the world could that Fitbit be? Down the garbage disposal? With all the “lost” socks from the dryer? At this point, I told St. Anthony that he was off the hook. I knew he had more important things to find, and I’d just lay my Fitbit to rest.
Now, fast forward to Tuesday, March 8. I’d just loaded the dishwasher and reached into a box under the kitchen sink where the Finish tablets are stored. Something odd rubbed my hand and I grabbed it. Lo and behold, there was my Fitbit, clutched in my fist. Apparently, as I’d reached into the box a couple of weeks ago, the device had popped off and there it stayed, hanging partially inside and partially outside the Finish box.
After a little happy dance, I breathed a huge prayer of gratitude to St. Anthony for his help in getting my Fitbit — and my sanity — back. Oh me of little faith.
Now, if only the good saint can help me “find” my ideal weight again! (Cue the eerie music!)