“Commit your life to the Lord, and He will help you” is a favorite refrain of mine, one of His many promises to us. For many though the question is not so much ‘will I commit’, but ‘how can I commit’?
It is difficult in today’s world to commit one’s life to the Lord. Most have family obligations, work obligations, health issues, children/grandchildren issues. And lest we forget any of these obligations, technology bombards our ears and eyes with beeps, blinks, chimes and even shouts out, as is the case with our new home’s fire alarm, “Evacuate, evacuate, alert alert, evacuate!”.
We are actually being Techno-scolded constantly by inanimate objects demanding our attention. And, the noise is deafening!
How many of us become so busy we forget food placed in the microwave and only remember when the DONE beep continues on and on and on? Or the refrigerator’s chimes when the doors are open too long. This is very irritating when you are trying to clean the darn thing. I confess to yelling at my dryer ‘I’m coming’ when the timer goes off, signalling yet another round of spinning, almost to say “fold the clothes NOW”. And who can ignore the lure of social media’s notifications? Seeing a ‘notification’ pop up I am easily coerced into answering questions, replying to comments and I end up forgetting why I signed on to begin with what recipe I needed.
My answering machine and my cell phone continue to wink at me until I listen to the messages or read the text messages. The first time I came too close to another car my dashboard lit up, flashing ‘BRAKE’ accompanied with screeching bells. Not funny Jeep!
I am tired of being Techno-scolded! I am very good at scolding myself, courtesy of my Catholic schooling years. Before you know it, our homes will be beeping, screeching, blinking warnings at everything we fail to do. Even my fitbit scolds me when I have been sitting at the computer too long.
It is way past time to put these annoying techno-scolds to rest. And that is why I am entering Lent with a promise to limit technology, to limit the distractions.
Lent is the season to change that which prevents a closer communion with God. And for me, clutter is creating an environment conducive to distractions; the clutter of the mind, the clutter of the spirit, and the clutter of my home. Limiting technology will help unfinished projects be completed or revamped. The granny square blanket begun by my grandmother, who died in 1964? Still sitting in the plastic bag with the crotchet hook and yarn; I have moved this particular project from Minnesota, to Ohio, and now into my bedroom in Massachusetts. Even older is the refinishing of another ancestor’s cedar chest, also moved more times than the granny square blanket. And aside from the physical clutter, I need to set aside time each day for prayer, meditation, and quiet.
The only scold I need is a gentle nudge of conscience to remember my Lenten commitment to slow down, unplug, and reconnect with God.
Promises I make to God, to myself, and to others need to be kept.
Why now? Because it is Lent. Let the stillness begin!