I went to church this morning and when I was getting out of the car in the parking lot, I realized I didn't have my phone. I checked my pockets. I went back to the car. I had left my smart phone at home. Egads! Someone, it seems, was messing with me. Maybe God? Maybe He wanted me to pay attention in church this morning? Perhaps...
Anyway, I found my usual spot left side, row three, next to my friend Bette. I took my place. I was a bit distracted at first. I hoped I had just left it at home, on the counter, where I last remembered seeing it. I felt myself shrug as I returned my attention to the service: the welcome, the opening hymn, the prayer, the anthem, communion. All those immediate experiences one supposedly goes to church to participate in. Yet all the while I was thinking about how this felt good. Freeing. Perhaps I should "untether" more often.
And of course I thought how this would make a good blog.
I realized how my attention span had suffered. My mind wandered. I found myself thinking about how it used to be. We couldn't take our landlines (we called them phones) everywhere. We would just have to wait to get home and check the message machine. And then I recalled the time when we didn't even have those! If we weren't there to answer the phone, well, they would just have to call back.
One odd thing that kept catching me off guard was finding myself trying to check my cell. I mean, frequently. And it wasn't there, in my pocket or on the pew next to me. Then each time I'd remind myself it was at home. I was still tethered, but only in my mind. It reminded my of how sometimes I go to call someone long deceased like my mother, my aunt, my grandmother and then realize that they won't answer. Similar, but not exactly the same I suppose. But disturbing all the same.
Long story short, I now realize just how much I have become a slave to my devices and social media. When I forget my phone, I feel set adrift. I might miss something. What if I want to show someone a picture? Set a date? Share a Facebook post? Ah, the good old days. Memories come lazily back as I remember what it was like to live in "real time". I think how we used to be ever present and not connected to unseen, and sometimes, unknown entities.
Coming untethered means I can be totally present...or at least have a better chance of really experiencing my life as it occurs. I can post about it on Instagram and Twitter later. Sometimes, cutting the cord...or at least leaving it in your car...makes life much more interesting.