Thinking Out Loud

October 13, 2018

Intentionally Spending More Time Offline

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 10:05 am

Our backyard. Not really. But this beautiful trail is within walking distance of where we live.

So there’s this thing the kids call “IRL” meaning, “in real life.”

I’ve been intentionally spending time away from my computer. Monday was a great example. A holiday here in Canada, we spent two hours walking with friends in a nearby ravine, followed by nearly five hours with other longtime friends enjoying dinner and conversation.

Seven hours when contact with the virtual world wasn’t possible.

And I never checked my email and social media once, but for the 30 minute break between activities.

Wednesday and Friday were work days during which there was no time to rest. On Wednesday, I ate lunch standing up. It was quite busy.

I used my phone in lieu of my computer to answer some inquiries — I’m getting better at this, but many sites are not mobile friendly — and did check mail very briefly around 1:00 PM; but otherwise my work days are blissfully offline.

Tomorrow is church. I’m still trying to decided if I can squeeze two services in, as I’ve been doing the last two weeks. Not sure if this the new normal or not. There are compelling reasons to go to both. At the first one, we’re beginning a new series that I’d like to catch from the start. At the second, there might be a chance I can help my wife out by playing bass for her worship team (if she lets me do this and still skip the rehearsal.)

Life is better lived IRL.

A few times I’ve been asked how I came up with ideas for fresh blog posts 365 days a year for ten years. While some were repeats, and more than a few were re-blogs of what others had written, I think that the largest percentage were inspired by real life conversations or events. Even if they weren’t direct citations of dialogs that happened, those interactions were the springboard for my thoughts the next morning.

…As you stare at your screen, I know you feel you need to be doing that right now.

But consider the option of just walking away.


IN THE WOODS

Scott, Frederick George

THIS is God's house--the blue sky is the
   ceiling,
 This wood the soft green carpet for His
   feet,
Those hills His stairs, down which the brooks
   come stealing
 With baby laughter, making earth more
   sweet.

And here His friends come, clouds, and soft
   winds sighing,
 And little birds whose throats pour forth
   their love,
And spring and summer, and the white snow
   lying
 Pencilled with shadows of bare boughs
   above.

And here come sunbeams through the green
   leaves straying,
 And shadows from the storm-clouds over-
   drawn,
And warm, hushed nights, when Mother
   Earth is praying
 So late that her moon-candle burns ill
   dawn.

Sweet house of God, sweet earth, so full of
   pleasure,
 I enter at thy gates in storm or calm;
And every sunbeam is a joy or pleasure,
 And every cloud a solace and a balm.
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