I am a gadget girl. I love my electronics, even though I have to admit there can be times when they are frustrating. Last Friday we changed our TV and Internet service and it’s not the simple plug and play they told us it would be. We are getting it all figured out, but I had no idea how many devices there are in our house that needed a new password. Twenty-two! And I am still finding them! Definitely a first world problem and a minor frustration, but frustrating nonetheless.
Last fall I had to replace my Apple watch. I had a first generation model and was beginning to have some problems so I decided it was time. A few days ago I ran into a problem with it. It wouldn’t swipe down. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Apple watches, there is a little red dot that appears at the top of the dial to let you know that you have notifications. When you swipe down, the notifications are revealed and you can respond or delete them. Most of the time these notifications are just a nuisance. (Note to self: review my notification settings.) And they are distractions from what I am doing at the moment. However it was really bothering me that I could not swipe down; I want things to work the way they are supposed to work. Finally I consulted Google. DUH! Turn it off; let it rest; then restart it. Why is it so easy to forget this simple fix? I reboot things all the time. In fact, we have been rebooting our TV a LOT trying to get all our apps up and running. This simple step of rebooting fixed my problem, but also reminded me of something the Lord has been trying to teach me.
Every year, as the months start running down, I begin asking the Lord to give me a word for the New Year. What does He want to teach me or how does He want to direct me? My word for 2023 came earlier in the fall than usual and it came clearly. My word is “quiet.” As I pondered that word different synonyms also came to mind: “still,” “rest.” I have been harvesting verses with those words and meditating on them. What does being quiet and still look like for me?
Quiet does not come easily to me. I was that little girl who got “Talks too much” on her report card. Once I got “Whispers too much” so I guess that was progress. I have been consciously trying to speak less and listen more. That’s really hard for me because I always want to weigh in on things. I think I have important things to say. Witticisms and bon mots. But surprisingly (to me) no one has noticed that I am speaking less. Maybe the world doesn’t need my opinions after all. And I have noticed that things happen when I speak less. There is a famous quote that says, “The quieter you are the more you are able to hear.” In the words of Frasier Crane, “I’m listening.”
At first I thought “quiet” meant spending more time in God’s word and eliminating some activities. But what do I cut out? I enjoy the things I do. However I am feeling the urge to unplug, to spend some time in off mode. And the more I do it, the more I enjoy it. I may be one of the few people who actually enjoyed the recent icy days we had, days of staying home and being quiet.
I am only six weeks into this word so I know the Lord has much to teach me. I am just trying to be obedient and quiet. I love this passage from The Kite Runner:
“Quiet is peace. Tranquility. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it.”
If you are trying to reach me, I am rebooting.