Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Staying Connected

It’s harder than I thought. It’s harder than it was last time we were here. What? Staying both removed and unconnected and connected. I bought a journal to write in (a paper one with an ink pen) that I’ve hardly used. I write so much faster on the laptop. In other years we traveled to France without a lap-top, then a regular lap-top, and now with a wifi receptive lap-top that is super-fast. Before I would go to an internet café, pay a fee, work with the French key-board (different arrangement of keys) and respond to the few emails I received.

Now we stop by MacDonalds with its fast and free wifi, get some coffee and connect with our kids, our family, our friends, post blogs, face-book and read emails. I have even Skyped this yea a couple of times, so I have not purchased a telephone card with long code numbers to punch in before dialing the number I want. And, the simple volume of email I receive (as I’m sure is the case with you) has grown astronomically.

So, every two or three days we hit the MacDonalds (great McCafe inside it!) get coffee and do emails and visit the facebook and blogs of friends of mine. The problem? Questions. Often emails include questions about which I have an opinion and an answer. How easy is it for you to read a friend’s email with a question and not answer it? I thought so!

Now this is not all bad. In fact I could make an argument that it is somewhat irresponsible to not be reachable in today’s age. In my regular life I don’t even count emails, texts, and voicemails I receive. It’s the normal way to communicate. And on this vacation, our village is still wifi-less (or they are all password protected) and my mornings and evenings are spent in total solitude of reading, writing, praying and thought. I am getting that which I was most hungry for: sustained thought, uninterrupted time. I am unaware of both date and time until my stomach grumbles or Martha calls me in for a meal. I go to sleep when my eyes tire and wake up with the sun.

I’m most grateful to the church staff for relieving me of the day-to-day communication that makes up much of the church. I can’t imagine being able to be gone this long without a team of leaders who can lead in their ministry areas. So while I am physically away, I am staying in touch more than other years, but that’s not all bad


At 4:10 PM , Blogger Isaac Johnson said...

It seems a shift has happened; it was a mark of prestige and importance to be reachable in increasing ways through the 20th century; from tickers, to phones, to pagers and finally cellphones.. but a shift is happening in the 21st century that the real desire is to now become less reachable. While it was a mark of an important person to pull out a mobile phone before, today its a mark of power to shut off or not carry a phone... It's like (again, this is a half baked idea); the 20th century concentrated on increasing levels of communication; thoroughput; ubiquity... the 21st will be all about filtering (less about how many, and more about the quality.. less about volume, and more about careful selection of just the important communications; news reductions and tailored communiques...)


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