This post was originally published on Januray 29, 2006.
So it died on Thursday night, and my husband went to work the next morning with the promise of computer shopping that evening or the next day. No problem, I told him.
But by nine a.m, I had needed the Internet no fewer than 10 times, and I was astounded to realize what a part of my day it had become. Need to check school lunch menu? Click. Need to renew library books? Click. Check the forecast? Click. Pay a bill? Click. Talk to the teacher? Click.
My lunchtime routine of scrolling the headlines while the kids eat was shot to pieces. When I heard something on TV I wanted to investigate further, I was out of luck. My blogging friends were no doubt blogging earth-shattering news, and I was missing the boat. *Growl.*
By the end of the day I felt disconnected and unbelievably irritable. I was inconvenienced, big time, and my whole day seemed to drag. I was snappy with kids, short with the hubby, and I sent him out the door to Best Buy right after dinner with a kiss and a loud whisper: "DON'T COME HOME WITHOUT A COMPUTER." I'm telling you, I was a real peach on Friday.
I wondered to myself how moms had ever managed a family before the Internet. And I felt a little sheepish to think that I was so dependent on a piece of machinery. But then, I realized, a car is a piece of machinery. So is a dishwasher, and a microwave, and a dryer. Those things are at least as much a part of my day as my computer. I am surrounded by things that make my life more convenient.
And I realized, with more than a little shame, I am addicted to convenience.
When one little piece of the puzzle falls away, I find that coping is pretty tough. And I am mortified to see in myself how entitled I feel to all these things that make my life easier. Really, who do I think I am? I can quote with enthusiam verse after verse about casting all my cares on Christ, or coming to Him when I'm weary and burdened, but really--really--do I do it? Or am I tempted to let my sense of well-being come from the fact that my dryer has finished my laundry, my car has shuttled my kids home, and my Tivo has lined up a delightful evening with my husband?
It's easy to see why Scripture tells us that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (Matthew 19:24). Because you and I, compared to the majority of the world, are rich. And how easy it is to shift our focus from relying on Him, and rely instead of the comforts of this world.
Only a handful of times in my life, God has knocked me so breathlessly on my back that I had no place to look but up at Him. No bail-outs, no short-cuts, no conveniences. It was hard--sheer anguish, actually. But in the heartache there was an undeniable sweetness in knowing that I had no choice but to place all my eggs in His basket. I had to trust Him with every fiber of my being. And it was good.
Do I long for another tragedy to send me running to His knees? No--I long for the spiritual maturity to sit at His knees with that kind of trust in the good times, the ecstatic times, the hum-drum times, and the inconvenient times. Do I think I should chuck my dishwasher and computer? Heavens, no--God placed me squarely in 21st century America, and that's just the life we're living these days. But I do know that He's calling me to look less at this flawed world, and more at Him.