10
Aug
18

A Supernatural Stillness

PhonelessnessOh, the horror of it!

Honestly, I’m not sure how I made it through. It was without a doubt the longest 35 minutes of my life.

Thankfully though, I am still here to tell the tale. Shaken, but not overcome. Tested, but still standing.

What was this baptism by fire I was forced to endure, you might ask… this supreme challenge… this Waterloo of the soul?

If you’re ready, I’ll tell you. Brace yourself: Yesterday, at about 4:30 p.m., I left the house to take Rosie on her afternoon walk… AND DID NOT TAKE MY PHONE with me!

There I was, with absolutely NO ability to pull up the weather radar and check on the progress of the approaching thunderstorm.

  • … Completely cut off from access to the Royals’ starting line-up for that night’s game.
  • … with NO WAY to look at vital emails that might have arrived in the last 10 minutes that – no doubt – might have had the power to change my life…
  • … NO HEADPHONES piping music into my skull as I walked.
  • … ISOLATED from the power to send or receive texts from friends or family. Or complete strangers, for that matter.
    • I mean, honestly… what if during that time my wife had paused her shopping cart and texted, “Hey, just finishing up here at Target. Do you need anything?” What then smart guy??

It was an eerie reminder of what life in the dark ages of the mid-90s was like.

How did I handle this frightening situation, you no doubt are wondering. What kind of coping skills did I draw on?

At the risk of making this episode sound a whole lot less heroic than I want you to believe, I am forced to admit that it was actually kind of nice.

  • I found myself taking a much closer look at the rich variety of weeds, plants, and trees growing by the side of our path.
  • I made actual eye contact and offered a greeting to other people out enjoying their own afternoon strolls.
  • I was able to listen to the mid-August song of the cicadas trilling their monotone notes.
  • And – wonder of wonders – I was prompted by the silence to pause in prayer and thank God for the rich palette of life spread out there before me.

I am not really sure I would call yesterday’s phoneless moment an epiphany by any stretch. But it was definitely a moment I wanted to repeat again… SOON.

It was one of those (sadly) rare, unfiltered, uncurated times when I found myself freed from my customary layers and layers of digital buffering.

It was a moment when I inhaled pure life and exhaled gratitude.

It was also a moment that brought me into close contact with a necessary humility, reminding me of my status as CREATURE, not CREATOR.

In spite of all of that, it is highly likely that when I wake up tomorrow I will still be the guy who loves to listen to music, look at weather radar, sports results, emails, and texts from friends on my phone.

But hopefully I will also be a little more of the Psalm 46:10* guy I was there for a brief moment.

 

Abundant blessings;

 

 

* “Be still, and know that I am God…”


5 Responses to “A Supernatural Stillness”


  1. August 11, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    Amen! If you haven’t already, you might enjoy my post “Elijah in the Age of Distraction.”

  2. 3 Warren Molton
    August 12, 2018 at 11:50 am

    I understand. If I went on a walk with my phone it would only be for the possibility of an emergency. I like to walk outside in silence, but in the winter in the house with music from speakers in my office and the living room. Outside, I want to be tuned to sights and sounds out there. My phone has been out now for a couple of days and I feel lost without it, esp since all my important phone numbers are buried in it.

    Yesterday, at Café Provence we began a two day celebration of our 68th wedding anniversary, and this morning over tea and coffee we celebrated, recalling the events on and around August 12, 1950, and reading to each other our today’s new love letters. We are relatively healthy in a home and neighborhood we love, with three beloved grown children happily married to their spouses, and we are more in love than ever. Thank God.! This morning after church we will go with a dear friend to the restaurant at the Continental Hotel on the Plaza, then home to receive calls from our kids and watch a film, probably MY FAIR LADY.

    Cheers to you, my friend, and thanks for this new post!

    Warren

  3. August 13, 2018 at 1:34 am

    Happy anniversary to you both! It sounds like a lovely way to spend your special day.

  4. August 15, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    Once again, your russelllngs made me laugh. May we all be better Psalm 46:10 guys (or gals).


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