Well, hello! It’s been a while.
Part the first.
Last week I lacked inspiration. Last week I had no internet access at home (although, frankly, that’s not a valid excuse as it didn’t stop me from posting the week before). Last week I didn’t make myself write. And if I don’t make myself do it, inspiration or no inspiration, well–a post will not magically appear all by itself. So this week I have made myself write anyway. And the good thing about writing anyway is that flexing those fingers on the keyboard has a happy way of cranking the gears of one’s brain. Forget about the proverbial hamster. It’s the fingers that power the mind.
When we didn’t have internet at home and I was dependent on going to friends’ houses for accessing that mysterious entity known as the world wide web, I used my internet time efficiently. Very. (For the most part.) I had to. My time was limited. A lot of fluff got removed–I did very little blog-hopping and none or next to none of the idle searches I’d make at home when something crosses my mind and I decide to quickly find the answer to it, however irrelevant it may be to my life. Since the return of the internet (if I capitalised that, it would sound like a film: The Return of the Internet–the long-forgotten fourth in the LOTR trilogy, perhaps?) I have succumbed to the same pattern again. Another email check. “Just one more” blog to visit. Another piece of information to search for.
I’m happy to have the internet back. It’s not fun having an internet-dependent job and no internet, never mind college and friends and all the rest of it. The internet is an oh-so-useful tool which I wouldn’t be without. But I don’t want to be controlled by it. I don’t want to waste lots of time with distractions and trivial pursuits. I want to use it more wisely than I do. Except when I’m in front of a computer, that is.
Part the second.
Last week, I attended a choral concert with a few friends. Meltingly beautiful singing. One of the pieces was Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer: I don’t believe I’ve heard it before and I can see I was missing out. Listening to it at home again made me read Psalm 55, which it is taken from. And I read the words and they resonated. I think some things in the Bible sit there quietly, waiting–like a pearl in its shell–to be discovered. Waiting to jump out at you because suddenly your life experience marries up with what’s written. This psalm marries up more than I intend to say here, but I will just say this:
I can understand what the psalmist wanted–somewhere quiet and peaceful away from problems. A snug corner in the wilderness. (If wildernesses can be snug?)
But that’s not the solution the psalm offers.
God is the solution.
God will hear and God will save. God will deliver and God will sustain.
Trust in God is the solution, not dove’s wings.
The escape to the wilderness can wait.
Part the third: when I love it that I’ve thought of a connection I didn’t set out to make.
I’m so self-controlled with my internet usage.
Except when I’m in front of a computer.
I’m so good at trusting God.
Except when I’m faced with a problem.
There’s no reasonable way I can avoid the internet (even when it seems our service provider kindly does their best to facilitate such avoidance….).
There’s no way, reasonable or unreasonable, that I can avoid problems, hard times, troubles–call them what you will. Changing their name doesn’t change their essence.
There are no magic solutions to self-control or trust.
Often the solutions are the ones we know already but don’t want to put into practice.
This would be a negative conclusion if I ended it here, if I ended it with Us. Us and our problems. Us and our failures.
But we’re not really the end, are we?
And that’s a much better ending!