I got back yesterday afternoon from a week's vacation. The place where I was staying had no internet connectivity. I would have had to go to coffee shops or public libraries to find access as I don't have one of those cell phone connection devices that some of my friends rave about, nor do I have a phone/blackberry which would have provided me such access....Yes I know, many have told me I am living in the dark ages.
I went away knowing that the internet would not be as readily available and I decided that I would try not to constantly run to some place to check. I wanted to disengage from the usual routines and pressures and try and relax, rest, recharge my batteries. I succeeded in that vacation discipline, for I am rested, my batteries are recharged and I am relaxed as I can be. I only checked email/internet once, going to the public library ( there are 100s to read!). I didn't read many of them, looking and responding to emergency situations only. I learned something instructive in that vacation discipline: I am an addict.I suffered from IWiJees the entire time I was away. IWiJees = Internet Withdrawal Jitters. I wanted to check my email accounts, I wanted to know what was happening on FaceBook, I wanted to check the blogs of writers I enjoy reading, I wanted to check the news sites from which I find out what is going on in the world around me. And I got jittery not being able to have that instant gratification of opening my Bookmarked sites and scratching that itch. So much of life and "interaction" with others takes place through this ether, these virtual spaces we have created.
As with any human endeavor there are aspects of this interaction that are good and aspects that are not as healthy. Yet I cannot help but think that all this connectivity between people can be considered a new wine in fresh wineskins that Jesus talks about today. Perhaps I suffered IWiJees for a reason: I lost connection to and with people I love. There is, of course the other side of the coin, but that can be a reflection for another day. Today I want to think about, and rejoice in, the life-giving connectivity that exists in this ether-world, that can provide such loving new wine in a fresh wineskin.
Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.