Friday, October 7, 2011

To Phone Or Not To Phone

So I have been without a phone for about two weeks.  For five days it had no battery then a dear friend had it to update and fix and then from there it was all downhill.  I’m now waiting for a replacement phone to show up at my doorstep tomorrow morning.  Then of course I’ll need to boot it up, download all my apps, and update the phone.  All in all I will be a very happy man when I’m able to communicate with the world once again.

But what have I really missed?  Let’s think about this:

* instant contact with friends via text messages

* updates from Facebook

* phone calls

* access to emails instantly

I’m not really sure why I need to be reading facebook updates every five minutes.  No offense to my friends and family but there hasn’t been anything on facebook that couldn’t wait till I was actually able to log on from my computer.  I missed nothing by being able to read them instantly.  And I’m sure my friends have not missed my checking in to the coffee shop, pick n’ sav, Verizon store, and a friends’ house.  I don’t think they really care if I went grocery shopping last night at 9:00 p.m. and the fact that I didn’t update my location did not send everyone into a crisis status wondering where Kurt has been.

No one has sent me a text message that couldn’t wait till the evening.  If I didn’t return a text message they no doubt tried to call and then sent a message to my email and facebook which I got at the close of each day.

The phone calls are hard to miss as the phone also serves as my business contact.  But honestly, 95% of my clients utilize email and in the past two weeks I have received about ten emails from clients, all of which I answered at the close of each day.

So what have I really lost?   The ability to pick up my device to avoid contact with other humans, to excuse myself from a crowd to check my text messages, and feeling loved and connected with other humans.  That is what I lost.  But why do I require this device to feel good about myself? I know my friends and family love me.  I know if I need them they are there – but I don’t HAVE to know everything as it happens.

That being said, I will be one happy man to have my phone back in my hands.  The question is:  have I learned anything from this experience?  Is there something I can take away from this ordeal that will make me a better human and for that matter, a better Christian?

The only thing it reminds me of is how much time I spend with, our away from, my God.  I wonder if God feels the same way about me that I did the first couple of days without my phone.  Just in the same manner that I suddenly felt disconnected from the world, I wonder how many times God has felt disconnected from me?  Perhaps the lesson learned is to prioritize my life better.  I don’t need to tell everyone where I cam 24/7, what I’m doing, or how I’m feeling.  I don’t need to read what everyone else is doing all the time.  My time is very valuable and precious and none of us know whether our post on Facebook will be our last one.  What matters is what we do with each and every valuable minute we are given.

As for me – today I plan on spending a little extra time looking at the leaves change color.  I want to hear a piece of music I’ve never heard before, and perhaps send a friend a note to let them know I love them.  I plan on hugging my mom one extra time today and reminding my father how much I love him.  I plan on spending a few extra minutes with special people and trying to make every moment with them, extra special.  I'm planning on emailing someone I met years ago to let them know I still hold them in high regard and I'm NOT going to wait or expect a response.  I'm going to look at some photos of my grandfather and remember what an amazingly good man he was.  I'm going to plan a little for tomorrow but make sure I don't take too much of today doing that.  I'm going to play with Rita (our bichon) a little more today and I'm going to make someone smile.  And sometime today, probably towards the end, I'm going to check my Facebook.  Tomorrow I'll spend time with my new phone but not as much - because there will be so much more to look at, listen to, and experience tomorrow.

A few years ago I made a life-altering decision and have not regretted it one bit.  At the time I spoke with a very prominent and wise psychologist. She said something to me that has continued to resonate inside me and I believe it is important in light of the past two weeks. She simply said, “so you decided to finally start living this thing called life”. 

Go forth today and LIVE.

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