WORDS FROM W.W. July 31, 2013
Carol and I don’t often get away…at least far enough away. Not that I don’t enjoy being a pastor, or enjoy the people of my congregation. It’s really not their problem.
I am not good at unplugging. I find it very difficult to turn off the knob (old technology term) that is labeled “Thinking About What Needs To Be Done.”
It’s like the word association game. Hear a word and say the first word that comes to your mind. For me, however, it’s seeing an object and thinking about a meeting coming up, or a message to be preached. I smell popcorn and think about movies, which makes me think about the video series our small group will be using in the next month, which makes me think about the study guide questions I still need to repair.
Fruit reminds me of communion. Dinner rolls at a restaurant remind me of…communion. I drive along a river and it reminds me of the water restrictions we’re under back home, and whether the sprinklers are properly turned off. I pass a school and I think of the staff appreciation luncheon we do each year at Audubon School down the street from us on the teacher work day they have before the students come back.
See! I’m plugged! It is one thing that Carol is concerned about whenever I retire. Can I really unplug?
In our culture where we are almost always connected by technology (Except on Union Boulevard around Lexington about two miles from our house. Why is it I can get phone reception in Antarctica, but not right here in the midst of civilized technology?), everything seems either urgent or known. If it is known that means it is expected to be put on the fast track to solved. If it is urgent it needs to be accomplished…now!
I get into that mindset of accomplishing tasks, doing the weekly jobs again, and then when a day off comes I’m still checking emails and thinking about the week ahead.
Why is it that we find it hard to vacate? Okay, I’ll use that other word…”rest!” It may say something about our reluctance to slow down and listen. We’re not a very good listening culture. We listen to music…as we’re working. We listen to the radio…as we’re driving. We listen to our kids…as we’re working on our laptop. We listen to the problems of others…as we’re texting someone else about our own problems.
Listening is an undervalued asset. Slowing down is seen as not getting us anyplace.
Perhaps I will try to “vacate” each day this coming month…not for the day, but for a few moments, an evening walk, or just in a quiet place by myself.
It won’t be early in the morning. With a day of tasks ahead it would be a recipe for defeat. Early evening works best for who I am.
I’ll let you know how it goes. For today Carol and I are going to vacate to about five different places that we need to get to.
Uh-oh, that didn’t sound restful, did it?