“Less stuff equals more freedom.” ~ Maxime Lagace
When I was younger — this will show you how old I am getting! — life used to be so much more complicated when I was leaving the parish. I would have to make sure that I took my prescription sunglasses with me so that I could change out my glasses in the car if the sun was too bright. I would have to make sure that I took my car phone. You know, one of those bags that felt like the weight of a bowling ball. More like a car battery hooked to a bulky phone. I would also have to take my pager with me in case there was an emergency or if the secretary needed to contact me for any reason. I would have to take my PDA with me as well so that I could make notes and check my calendar.
I would need to make sure that I had all sorts of accessories before I made my way out the door. Now, everything is included in devices. My glasses auto-tint in the sun. No need for prescription sunglasses. My cell phone has replaced the big bulky car phone and taken care of the need for a pager. It has also taken away the need for a laptop computer, a PDA, and all sorts of other devices. It has made me free.
Or has it?
Now, one device has me shackled to business and interrupts my life constantly. I have less stuff; but, the device I do have (my cell phone) incorporates a whole list of other devices and makes me able to be reached by anyone from anywhere. (I will be going to Rome in December for the ad limina visit to the Pope and have already been assured that my new phone will keep me connected overseas in almost all of the countries.)
Less stuff may not equal more freedom if the stuff you have incorporates a vast array of products. However, I think you get the gist of this reflection. We have so tied ourselves up that we do not have a whole lot of freedom.
In one sense, it is good to know that I can be reached anytime and anywhere by anyone. At the same time, that is so sad. Having the ol’ electronic umbilical cord means that I cannot have the time to reflect as I ought. Especially at this moment in my life, I need to be available in case something comes up not only on the parish level but on the diocesan level as well.
There comes a time when we need to detach. We need to turn off and shut down so that we rid ourselves of all the distractions that might keep us from communicating with God as we ought. God can get our attention if He wants. He can come to us in a booming voice and a flash of lightning. That is not His style, though. It is not his style because He does not want to force Himself upon us. He wants us to open ourselves up to Him.
We cannot open ourselves up to God if we are constantly bombarded by distraction. Look around you today. Check your schedule. Check the number of devices that you might have (Google, Siri, Alexa, et cetera) that can interrupt you at any time. Ask yourself the important question: do you make time for God? If not, shut something off and give God a chance to speak to you.
FAITH ACTION: Schedule an appointment with God today. Show up on time and do not leave early. Give Him the time He needs to speak to you and open your heart up to Him.