I’m learning to enjoy the weekday mornings at St. Stephen’s. Sometimes it’s very quiet. I can write, plan, make phone calls, or walk around the church and ponder the lessons for Sunday. Yesterday was one of those very quiet days. My to-do list was long and unfortunately very dependent upon office technology: computer, internet, etc. That technology hasn’t been working so well. When it’s not there, it’s like everything stops or at best takes a convoluted workaround and eats vast quantities of time.
I’ve already been talking to vestry and a couple of parishioners who are far more competent than I am so I know it will all come together. Let it be sufficient to say that there is a frustration when technology doesn’t work that’s in a class of its own.
I’ve become engaged with technology by necessity. It’s a necessary part of the reality of ministry these days. Still, I’d much prefer to engage people in things like how we can use it to build community and as a support to spiritual practice than figure out why one device won’t talk to another!
Yesterday, at the height of frustration, I was reminded that the boxwood in the garden were covered with several inches of snow that needed to be removed. I grabbed my boots, keys, a broom and went out to attend to the boxwood. I’m glad I did. It was a reminder that in all we do this is still God’s world. God’s world needs tending. I could look back and see the results of my work. Sometimes it’s nice to see.
The fine and invisible packets of electromagnetic waves that are at the heart of these technologies are part of God’s world too. The packaging and ordering of those invisible waves breaks down and becomes disordered and needs to be restored sometimes, just like people and communities. After all of this humanly designed, amazing, and seemingly magical engagement with computers, mobile devices and networks, I was really looking forward to Thursday when I could engage a different invisible reality—the sure and certain mystery of Eucharist shared with those who gather in our chapel at noon.