Exactly one week ago I put a vacation message on my email auto-responder, shut off my computer and drove away. I made the conscious decision that for one week I would not read email, blogs, write a blog, or an any way use the internet.
Why? Good question. My simple answer is My life needed a reboot. I wanted a technical cleansing. The idea was to flush my mind of gmail, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and my real estate website. So I did it. I shut it off and drove to Texas.
I enjoyed the company of old friends over good food, remarkable sunsets, and catching a few fish. When my friend offered “Do you need to check your email?” my reply was simply “No“. I didn’t elaborate. And when told “You can use the computer anytime you want” I replied with only “Thanks“.
I found wonderful satisfaction in simple conversation. Talking about old times, fishing experiences, receipts, grand kids, life and the joys and sorrows of living. The hours passed at a slower pace it seemed. I stood in awe one early morning staring at brilliant stars hanging low against the blackness of the night sky, felling the cool wind tease the goose bumps on my arms and legs while listening to the steady cadence of gentle waves splash against the shore. I was keenly aware of God’s presence and pervasiveness in the glory of His creation.
I found time to admire cattle munching on green grass in the Red River Valley, admired some rusty antique trucks now resting from their labor at the entrance of a farm yard, and photographed an old Methodist church where services are now only two or three times a month. I wondered about the scores of people who had worshiped there, were married there, were memorialized there, and were introduced to God there.
Only a few short miles East is was Interstate 35 and the third largest casino in the world. People going fast and living faster, many never finding the secret of living at peace. I mean the kind that is present and up front when your head hits the pillow and you know that you know that you are at peace with man and God.
I had wonderful fellowship with my wife’s family, both the Cheek’s and the Samsill’s, and appreciated the happy faces of children, parents, and grand parents. We ate good food, laughed, and cheered the Dallas Cowboys to a win. I admire the legacy of generations of lives well lived.
I took my wife to a movie (The Blind Side), we shopped, we drove along holding hands, we laughed and enjoyed being one. I napped while watching food themed shows on the Travel Channel and I enjoyed being me. And, I really, really enjoyed being internet free for a week.
I have promised myself that from now on I will use the internet and all that entails, I will not let it use me. There’s a life to be lived in the other room, outside, down the road, in the woods, on a lake, or in the pages of a good book.
When I worshiped God this morning I felt more alive, cleaner, and my inner man had new crispness that I want more of.
What is the moral of this story? I’ll let you decide that one.