incommunicado or detached by forgetfulness

“Put your heart aside. Duty comes first. But when fulfilling your duty,
put your heart into it. It helps.”

St. Josemaria Escriva

(Lily Tomlin from the One ringy dingy skit from Laugh-In)

Once upon a time, human beings came into this world with 4 appendages.
At some point in the latter part of the 20th century, human beings added an appendage…
the cell phone.

This new appendage became attached serendipitously.
It seemed to bring a sense of well-being and even wholeness to most.

It became so indispensable, so oddly necessary, that when there would be some sort
of separation, human beings would go into apoplexy.

For you see, we humans can’t seem to part with this relatively new appendage.

I confess that I’m sadly and equally guilty of living in this surreal false sense of need.

Take for example today.

My husband and I were in Atlanta babysitting, even having spent Wednesday night as
we all went out a few days early to celebrate my husband’s upcoming birthday.
A birthday that my husband has decided will be his last to actually recognize but
a first in that we had a new little granddaughter in attendance at dinner.

The following day, Thursday…there was a pouring monsoon. Due to our daughter-n-law
starting pre-planning with her new school system and having to attend a faculty retreat
and our son having to work late, we opted to take the wee one home with us for a few days.

Maybe not a wise decision as the wee one is teething, but I digress.

As we were packing up, our daughter-n-law called making certain all was well.
Mindlessly I handed my son the phone.
After a brief conversation, he put down my phone.
We all then worked a joint effort in order to get the wee one in the car
without getting soaked.

With great trepidation, we bid our son a farewell (but I’ll be heading back Saturday to redeliver
the wee one home) as we made our way to the interstate for the long wet drive home.

Driving on the interstate in the pouring down rain, sandwiched between
tractor-trailer trucks who were oblivious to the weather or other cars or
that of their own speed, I saw an interstate road sign flashing deep
within the foggy rainy misty air…

For you see, Georgia just passed a law forbidding the use of a cell phone
while driving.
A few too many lost lives too late yet long overdue.

This means no calling, dialing, talking or texting.
Bluetooth through the car is ok.
GPS is also ok…so there are still a few of those grey areas but this is finally
a step in the right direction.

But when I saw that flashing interstate sign working its magic in the pouring down rain,
I thought to myself…”cellphone???”
As in… where IS my cellphone?

I quickly ask my husband to reach to the back seat to check my purse.
“Nope” he annoyingly replies.
For you see he figured I’d probably have done a U-turn right then and there on this
precarious section of 285 sending tractor-trailer trucks scurrying for cover.

But I didn’t.

I calmly kept driving.

I didn’t even frantically make my way to the nearest exit in order to backtrack to our
son’s house because I now remembered that the phone was sitting on the coffee table.
Right where my son had put it down after finishing talking to his wife…
all while we were putting the wee one in her car seat.

So I’m now missing an appendage.

A friend later called on our fossilized landline when word got out I didn’t have
my phone.
“Oh my gosh…what are you going to do??!!” was her incredulous query.

“I’ll get it on Saturday when I take the wee one home” I nonchalantly replied.

So on this day without my extra appendage…I do feel small moments of panic forcing
themselves up to the surface as I involuntarily reach for something that is not there.
I wonder who has text me.
Who has tried calling me?
I can’t track my Fitbit steps.
I can’t readily look up some unnecessary thing as if my life depended on it.

And to be quite honest…it’s all rather liberating.

Maybe if we felt the same way about our relationship with our loving Father and
blessed Savior as much as we feel about our phones…
maybe our lives would right themselves back upright…upright as they should be.
I think it’s a matter of priorities and living in the moment really and not living
in some another moment of some other dimension of both space and time—that being
the dimension of the life on those phones of ours.

What a small piece of joy…as well as freedom…

What else are we allowing to vie for our attentions?
What else is distracting us from our true nature of created of the Creator?

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
Colossians 3:2

28 comments on “incommunicado or detached by forgetfulness

  1. Tricia says:

    You’ve been without your cell phone for SEVERAL DAYS? Oh my goodness Julie, how have you been able to cope? Lol! It’s funny, I remember once I went to the grocery store which is all of a 10 minute drive from my house and I started to panic when I realized I forgot my cell phone. I had to remind myself that I’ve driven across the country twice by myself before cell phones, GPS etc. were even invented and that a mere 30 minute shopping trip to pick up dinner was no grave threat.

    Funny, I was just reading John 21 this morning where Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love me more than these?” What are the “these” in our own lives that we prioritize above Jesus? Surely my cell phone and the virtual world it unlocks plays too important a role in my life.

    • I know, you’d think the world would actually stop. It’s ridiculous how dependent we are on these things…technology in general and yes, I totally agree with you with the refelction of John 21—“do you love me more than these”—and those “these” are anything other than Him and that which puts prominence in our lives to anything other than Him—but here I am on the computer rahter than my everready phone….sigh

  2. oneta hayes says:

    I joined the crowd yesterday when I got a plan that allows everything. I have used my phone as a phone before. Now how do I learn all the stuff? I’ll try a bit at a time.

    • don’t allow it to suck you totally in Oneta—that’s what it wants to do ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • oneta hayes says:

        I will hardly talk on the phone: I’m a get infor and give info kind of person. I want to text my grandchildren. Also, take pictures for my blog. I’m a penny pincher so it had better pay off. If I use it on the blog only twice a month…. that’s not a bargain!

    • Citizen Tom says:

      In the same boat. Just upgraded from a flip phone to a smartphone.

      Kind of funny. My lady would not give up her old landline phone. When she saw me using a smartphone, she decided it was simple enough she wanted one. I guess the have reached the point where they are becoming intuitive.

      • I did ok without it…as I was busy with the baby…but I felt a sense of relief when I got it back I’m sad to say. But just having it when traversing the roadways, especially with the baby in tow—there was a sense of well being
        But I think prayer could and would fill that place of worry.

  3. Elihu says:

    Sometimes I wish smart phones had never come to be. When my husband got his I wanted to chuck it out of the window. It seemed like he was more attached to it than he was to me, and I had just gotten him back home after he’d been gone for six months of training. He’s gotten better, of course, but that initial “appendage” used to frustrate me. Now I have one, and I understand how hard it is to let it go. We have kicked around the idea of trying to find a flip phone, but it’s mostly talk at this point.

    I do wonder if it would make a huge (and positive) difference for us to get rid of the appendage… Unfortunately, I use my phone for music, blogging, and GPS, so it would mean getting a bunch of extra devices…

    • and that’s the idea Elihu—the powers that be behind all of this want us to be totally dependant as they eliminate other things in order to put all the other things into the one thing…that being a phone…or even watch now for some.
      I don’t know, where does it end?
      This little “seperation” has given me great pause to wonder!

  4. Amen, Julie! Love how you connected our dependency on our extra appendage to our relationship with the Lord. That’s the same kind of dependency on the Lord we want to cultivate in our lives, because you’ll never leave Him behind on the coffee table, His batteries never go dead, and our souls really need Him.

    Research is showing we’re now spending an average of 11 hours a day on our phones. I actually had to let go of mine, to set a boundary, because I’m on the internet all of the time at home, so when I’m at work or out and about, I just want to focus on the people around me. Ha! That’s not so easy because everyone is always on their phones! But I’m stubborn about it because I really see people losing their relationship skills, their ability to relate to one another. Also emotional distress! I work with a lot of young people who are suddenly crabby or sad and when I question them, it’s because they just saw something on social media. I can laugh about such things, but we’re all trying to work together in an already stressful situation….as emotional train wrecks. Like, hello! Our senses can only deal with so much stuff at once.

    I’m preaching to the choir, I’m sure. I also have faith we’re going to regain some balance as the novelty wears off a bit. Should take about
    another 30 years. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • So so true IB—and it takes losing it for a while to actually be free enough to step back and actually realized how bad this obcession of ours really is…but isn’t that part of the power’s that be plan—we get so addicted we will constantly upgrade, buy more and must keep the cycle going all the while we turn into leemings heading toward the cliff—and you know…God will let us fall off!

  5. So true, dear Julie!! Weโ€™ve allowed the fifth appendage to take over our lives๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜ฃ powerful and truly creative writing!! Love this post and you!! ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

  6. says:

    Soon we will have to evolve into creatures with extra appendages in order to create comply with all the devices we depend on. We will eventually look like this – eyes bulged no from lack of rest with bags under them. No emotions shown on our faces other than emojis. Our hands will contain two extremely large thumbs due to extreme exercise. Our necks and

  7. says:

    And spines will curve causing us great difficulty in getting up. Our backsides will be flat from sitting all day and our abs get swallowed up with no exercise. The things we feared before this whole technology thing began, have come to be. Relationships will fail and there will be little if any physical or emotional contact with our race.

  8. Wally Fry says:

    No Phone? LOL…I have three phones. It’s an odd story. I actually can’t be more than a few minutes out of calling anytime I have guys working, so I can’t lose my appendage ever

  9. Salvageable says:

    Remember how science fiction in the 1950s and 1960s predicted that machines would take over the world and run our lives? It seems as if about half the episodes of the original Star Trek had Captain Kirk & Co. confronting a powerful computer that had taken over a civilization. Well, I guess that plot wasn’t so far-fetched after all. J.

  10. hatrack4 says:

    We have come a long way from the party line. You listened for a while to ensure that the combination of long and short rings was yours, then you picked up the phone not knowing who was on the other end. Now, we look at the screen to decide if we want to answer. Instead of a questioned, “Hello?” it is a “And now why has my good friend Fred called me today?” I hope you and your phone are soon reunited. But enjoy the blissful silence in the meantime. With a teething baby – not so much silence.

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