“Gee, Mom, your Internet is really slow!” This has been the continual litany of all our middle-aged and married kids. But none of them has felt that it was so slow that something should be done about it. They were all just glad they didn’t have to put up with it.
However, we have a new friend. Or, rather, he is David’s friend, and he is a get-things-done-kind of guy. So this new friend, who owns the local cleaners, about a half mile from our house, has taken charge of the Internet Insufficiency that exists in our home on Hawthorne Lane.
As of this weekend, we have changed service providers, changed from DirecTV to Xfinity. This new friend also took on the project of upgrading our phones, teaching David how to use a smartphone, called and negotiated a high-definition function, took out old wires and boxes, put in new routers and servers, changed passwords, and marched David over to a nearby AT&T store to go over our phone bill, line by line, to see what charges are unnecessary and eliminate what is not needed. Not only do we now have a rapid-fire Wi-Fi service, the new cable connections have vastly more free streaming capacities, and we think this friend is saving us around $100 a month (times 12 equals $1,200 per year). Everyone should have a young, eager, take-charge friend who thinks it’s ridiculous to put up with inadequate service with hidden accumulating fees and who is determined to do something about it.
Yes, it does make me feel a little stupid. But then, take-charge people are not so aware of the human social dynamics as they are about getting the tasks checked off the lists.
And I am a little uncomfortable with a man, who is not my husband or a son, rummaging around in my bedroom (while I hide in the guest room in my pajamas) at 5:30 in the morning before running to open up his cleaning shop at 7:00 a.m.
Not only the above minor irritations, but I don’t understand a word he is saying. “Megabytes” and “gigabytes” just close down my pre-frontal orbital cortex. I shake my head and nod like I understand, but really I catch little of what is going on. I haven’t even read my copy of Windows for Dummies bought to get me past my Internet/computer/technology illiteracies; just the thought of that techno-lingo turns me into a mumbling, fumbling white-haired lady showing signs of early dementia.
Actually, in my ignorance, now that I think about it and it isn’t 5:30 in the morning, I had settled for less than what could possibly be. I’d become comfortable waiting five to ten minutes for the Google search engine to open, for my Facebook page to light up, for my new emails to download. Because I didn’t understand the potential of upgrading my creaky technology, I was living in a world of inadequate insufficiencies.
Probably, that’s where most of us settle when it comes to our spiritual lives. This morning, early, I read some devotional thoughts from Thomas Kelly’s A Testament of Devotion. He speaks of one of the indicators of maturing. Here is an area where I am working to have a highly functioning spiritual facility. I don’t want to be a little old white-haired woman who settles for less than what is possible.
There is a tendering of the soul toward everything in creation, from the sparrow’s fall to the slave under the lash. The hard lined face of a money-bitter financier is as deeply touching to the tendered soul as are the burnt-out eyes of miners’ children, removed and unseen victims of his so-called success. There is a sense in which, in this terrible tenderness, we become one with God and bear in our quivering souls the sins and burdens, the benightedness and the tragedy of the creatures of the whole world, and suffer in their suffering, and die in their death.”
Sometimes I get there, but then I find myself reacting negatively to the get-thing-done-types who interrupt my comfortable acceptance of insufficiency, and I realize I haven’t come as far as I think I have spiritually. I need people to intrude, rudely or efficiently, and shake me out of my own complacency regarding settling for inadequacy. (But not at 5:30 in the morning!)
Award-winning author Karen Mains has long had an interest in spiritual formation and the obedient Christian walk. She has written about the God Hunt in her book by the same name, The God Hunt: The Delightful Chase and the Wonder of Being Found. A hardback copy can be ordered from Mainstay Ministries for $10.00 plus $4.95 shipping and handling. Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to autograph a copy for you.
Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags, Africa bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. They are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.