What’s that you say? The Internet’s down? Bawk…
(A personal journey into living without the Internet for 24 hours)
Let us be silent so we can hear the whisper of GOD – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I think I know what withdrawal feels like. I lost my home Internet connection for 24 hours. 24 hours without Facebook, 24 hours without email, my preferred method of communication. 24 hours without being able to research almost any topic I am interested in or plan upcoming holidays. A bit adrift, I wondered the house and looked for things to do. Other interests didn’t interest and chores seemed like, well, a chore.
I have a low boredom threshold – a fact that emerged not only during this crisis of astronomical proportions but also on vacations – the need to be constantly in motion, doing, seeing, experiencing…..
The house was all cleaned, the beds made, the dishes done by 9:00 a.m. It’s a good thing I’m going out later today, I mutter to myself Or I will go completely mad. You see, I’m a writer and – gasp – housewife. So I spend hours of time at home, alone, with only the cat and the Internet for company. Sure there’s TV, and I acknowledge the fact that Internet is a cultural wasteland but do you know what is on daytime television? Talk shows, game shows and soaps, none of which interest me in the slightest.
So where does Jordan come in, you ask? Crossing Jordan is the only good thing on day time TV. Jordan is a medical examiner who helps solve crimes. She cares deeply about the victims and the victim’s families.
I’m of an age that I do vaguely remember life before the Internet and the home PC. Now, my husband and I each have our own and a Netbook so that we can ‘connect to communicate’ while away,
I do have other interests. My Facebook profile says so, so it must be true. If only I could access it.
My response to no internet connection, in all seriousness, challenged me. Instead of seeing it as a “Sabbath” – meaning “to cease” in Hebrew – I saw it as a reason to panic. Why I am afraid of sitting still and just “being”? Is having this “noise” – the noise of perpetual motion and distraction– causing me, as one blogger put it to “live on the banks of denial?”
if properly employed one is afforded a week-to-week possibility of disconnecting from the world and reconnecting to the Source of strength and life. [John Fehlen, from his essay entitled “Solitude: Being Still When You Have To Keep Moving”).
Reggie McNeal, in his book A Work of Heart states, rather strongly:
“The recovery of Sabbath would lead to the renewal of spiritual leaders by restoring communion practices where heart-shaping could occur. Leaders who long for the renewal of the church should not let this connection escape them. If God’s people are to be once again captured by His heart for them, they are going to have to be in communion with him to hear his voice. Until church leaders come to their senses, they will continue to pass out methodological pabulum to their followers as a drug to dull their pain and anesthetize their spiritual yearnings for more vibrancy than they currently experience. We will not have renewed congregations and ministries until we have renewed leaders.
In her book Living the Christ-centered Life Between Walden and the Whirlwind, Joan Fleming states:
…We have become a people with an aversion to quiet and an uneasiness with being alone.
To which I ask: Why?”