When I worked at Beazer Homes, Jerry, the division manager, got a Nextel push-to-talk phone for himself and one for Ken the sales manager. They were more like long range walkie-talkies. No ringer, just push to talk. The next morning, Ken lacerated his face while shaving. The moment before Jerry had yelled “Ken!” “It was like Jerry was in my bathroom,” Ken said.
That was 25 years ago. Today, at least there is a ringer protecting what is left of our privacy. Sometimes it feels like we are standing in an open field in a hailstorm. Emails, phone calls, texts, USPS mail, packages to sign for, door to door solicitors, and notifications assault us. My car and my phone tell me things with beeps and buzzes, alerts and chimes. The grocery store wants to know if I want to round up, do a survey, donate to their charity, or want cash back when all I want is a loaf of bread.
My friend Rex told me he turned off the ringer on his phone two years ago. Rex means “king“ and that position has its privileges.
I discovered the Do Not Disturb setting many years ago, but my phone kept taking input. Now when I retire for the night, I use Airplane Mode. It is a complete breaking off of communications. It allows for a time of precious quiet which I enjoy just as much as all the interactions of the daylight hours. I may still be in an open field but at least the hailstorm has passed for the night.
God is there in that peace. He’s always there, but when input is happening every three minutes, I don’t feel His presence.
As important and instant communications have become, sometimes we just need to shift our mind to Airplane Mode. Breathe, stop, and contemplate all He has given us. Thanking Him helps, too.
Take five minutes of the 600 you labor each day and just listen, smell the air, look at the beauty, touch the earth or a flower, and remember the taste of life.