The power went out today, not just for a few moments, but for over an hour. Within minutes of the outage, those in my home started emerging from their ‘plugged-in’ spaces. The computers were stopped, the TVs silenced , and the darkened lights made the early evening light through the windows draw us from the darkness of the home to the light outside. The fans and air conditioners were silenced and made the breeze outside all the more inviting.
I sat with my son and felt the breeze blowing and watched his very active and enthusiastic dog played with a little chew toy that squeaked. We talked about the day, laughed at the dog, and just enjoyed a different kind of quiet. And it sounded so good, so refreshing. We had a simple dinner of sandwiches and my husband and I ate our ham and cheese sandwiches on the deck. The breeze continued to blow and the branches of the trees around us moved gracefully with the wind.
When my husband went inside and announced, “the power is back on”, to be honest, I was a little disappointed. I loved the little respite that came with an inability to be “productive” with the likes of dishwashers, computers, and washing machines. I loved being “unplugged”– momentarily disengaged from the things in life that so fill our time, so fill our worlds with sound and light and never ending overabundance of stimuli. I sat outside some more and enjoyed the quiet.
Because lately? Lately it’s felt as though everything in me has had to be actively engaged, plugged in, and always on. With needs at work and home, and pressures from both that come with trying to raise children and meet the educational needs of students as well as to be “all in ” for milestones in people’s lives, it has felt like I’ve been an overloaded circuit about to just shut down. But what keeps us keeping on? Being unplugged from the things that will be there tomorrow, being engaged and “all in”, being present for the things that won’t be there are all so key.
What’s so ironic, is that often the things to which we’re “plugged in” are the very things that drain us of our power. Like an overloaded circuit, we don’t realize there’s too much stimuli until it’s too late and there’s a total shut down. Unplugging the technology can give way to being energized by the things that really fill us and empower us in ways that the stuff never will. But there’s One that will never drain us if we’re “plugged in”, for He is the ultimate power source. Here’s a prayer that Paul prayed for the Ephesians: