“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…
DON’T TEXT AND DRIVE
For you see, Georgia just passed a law forbidding the use of a cell phone
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
“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.