My power cord just arrived--in two boxes. How efficiently green is that? she asks sarcastically. It only took a week, which has meant I've been living an internet free zone for a while. Remember the good old days before email and web browsing? I do. I remember my first emails. My then-brother-in-law paid for it so I could communicate with my sister the year they lived in Uzbekistan. That was practically the dark ages--15 years + years ago. It was like magic, this computer mail. Actual letters the Dump and I wrote to each other took seven weeks to arrive...if they arrived at all. But with email, we had veritable conversations. Then my parents got themselves hooked up, complete with that inimitable sound the phone dialing and the resquisite lengthy wait for it to actually work. We thought we were so high-tech in those days. My parents printed out and kept in a notebook all of our letters from that year. Reading them a few months ago, I was struck by how many were along the lines of, "Is this working? Let me know if you get this." These days, we can't quite imagine something going wrong when we press the send button, but in prehistoric times, the whole system was annoyingly capricious.
But I was rather proud of the fact that we were such early pioneers at emailing. It had nothing to do with the Beve or me, though. If not for that trip beyond the reaches of telephone, and my computer-savvy former brother-in-law, we'd have been the last people on the block with a phone cord attached to our computer, rather than the first.
Yep, in general, Beve and I are only accidental trend setters. We just don't think along the lines of the newest and the best. We're too busy, trying to be faithful with our little to dream the American dream of bigger is better, crying "More, more, more."
I've really been thinking of this lately, not just because I've lived without blogging or net-surfing (which for me, primarily means researching random things I'm interested in learning). The thing is, if our culture/society is doing the labeling, I am well-aware that I'd be labeled a failure. And that's a definite struggle for me. I've had plenty of education but never had a career, I have plenty of ambition but have no measurable goals. I'm now in my fifties and the chances of beginning something that might define me as accomplished in the world's eyes grower slim and slimmer in this economy and age bracket. And that sense of being a failure can be pretty pervasive. It can cut through all that I know about God and His economy to slice me wide open.
And yet, every thing is not as it seems. There is a veil across this world that keeps us from seeing things--especially people--from God's perspective. If I believe--and I stake my life on this--that He lives and moves and works intentionally in every circumstance, then I cannot see my life as a failure. My life is His. My uselessness--in the eyes of this capitalistic society in which I dwell--is no more than a lie. A faulty phone line connection to eternity. If my heart is beating, and beating with the strong, ceaseless desire to be His, to become righteous, to be whoever, whatever He wants me to be, it is well with my soul. Indeed, who am I to say what circumstances He will use for His purposes? If my weakness, my alleged failures are what is needed to keep me surrendered and centered, I dare not eschew them as negative. They are not interruptions to the connection with God, but the very line that keeps me kneeling at His feet. Indeed, I should welcome them. I know I cannot live without Him, see. I don't have the luxury of thinking I'm strong. And really, isn't that THE fundamental truth?