I find myself caught between two very different styles of living and I’m trying to figure out if it’s possible to have them both.
On one hand, I am trying to keep pace with all the modern options and technologies we have available today. Some have been so easy for me to embrace it’s silly: cell phones, e-mail, Amazon.com, Netflix, Tivo, and iTunes.
iTunes has been a special blessing and one I’m most proud of. Why, just to start with, did you ever think you could begin a sentence with a non-capitalized word? But the service is hilariously easy to use and fall in love with. For a mere 99 cents I can have the single of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, and not the spastic version Diana Ross did as a solo….no, the original song by the Supremes and the Temptations. It’s that kind of niche that iTunes offers me. I can get lost on many delicious side roads with it. Just this morning I decided to check into “Finlandia”. Did you know there are over a hundred versions of that song available on iTunes? And there's even one in Finnish, or whatever language they speak in Finland, just in case you have somebody from Finland over for dinner and want them to feel at home.
Tivo’s been another pleasant surprise. It didn’t take that long to figure out how to use it and now I can’t imagine life without it. I can watch The View at night and Larry King in the morning if I want to. And I can postpone watching either of them until Beaven is safely out of the house if he wants me to.
But I still need a little help with a couple of the new cutting edge applications. I don’t have the hang of Power Point yet, which is one reason I’ll have to cut this short today. I’m supposed to make a Power Point presentation tonight and I’m not really sure I know what I’m doing. And I need to understand My Space by July when it’s the theme of this year’s Youth Workshop at church. I’ll be living and breathing My Space for a solid week and I don’t know the first thing about it at this point. In little over a month I need to have my own My Space set up and be able to discuss it with great authority. So, I would be grateful for any help you can give me.
But all of these technologies all bring me to the balancing act I am longing to perfect. Because, in the midst of this cornucopia of technology, I truly long to simplify my life.
I’ve been reading Barbara Kingsolver again. Last week it was “Small Wonder” and this week I got her newest book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” (brought to my mailbox with no effort on my part through Amazon by the way.) Both of these books are about the simple pleasures in life-- listening to the birds, feeling the wind against your cheek, tasting an apple, planting a garden and living off what it provides. Turning off the TV is a major step I’ve made. It's slowly been getting easier and easier. We are developing the knack for just sitting quietly and reading.
So, here I am living in the East Texas version of paradise. It’s spring and everything is gorgeous. The grass is green everywhere I look. This is actually a very unusual sight in Texas. Come July the heat will kill everything off into a dusty brown hue and it will likely stay that way until around October. (We usually have a brief "spring" if it rains in October and the grass greens up for a couple of months.) But for now there are new calves and colts in the pastures I pass on my way to the store. I have lettuce and spinach growing in our garden and I’ve even had a few salads from it. I’ve made a couple of batches of pesto from the basil I planted. The tomato plants look promising. We have a farm just up the road from us offering blackberries and peaches when they ripen.
But sometimes it just seems a little schizophrenic to have both of these lifestyles available to me. The blackberry farm even has their own website. Is that legal? Should I worry? I don’t think there’s any going back. Certainly ipods and cell phones are here to stay. Now that I think of it, though, they may even be obsolete in a few years after they’re replaced by an even newer technology.
OK, here’s something interesting. Just now when I got to this exact place in writing today’s posting I was interrupted by an incoming e-mail. It was from a guy in our church who was suggesting a My Space account for our church.
How weird is that? The oldest institution around is meeting the latest technology. And I was worried that it would conflict with my tomatoes. I guess if Jesus is getting a My Space account it’s OK.
I can stop writing now and go figure out Power Point. Then maybe Bob can teach me how to do My Space.