Equally important to American life is the great sport of baseball. Sitting in the pew last week, feeling blissfully unplugged, I connected two of the things I grew up with and still love.
I get exhausted just reading some of my fellow tweeters’ posts. Work harder, smarter, faster. Jump on a plane. Text me, tweet it, blog post, email, stats. Jesus! (Oops, maybe He can help?) Cause reading that back, it sounds a lot like me, too.
On a recent rainy day in Boston, I was happy to discover an indoor mall. Deciding to unplug for an hour or two seemed like a good idea. Over lunch, I kept thinking of tweets and texts to send. OMG, fantastic rice bowl, must make this at home, to my daughter. Nice ladies at Fendi, still no perfect travel wallet, to my husband. What’s this Wamagama noodle heaven? And then I start to wonder, do I have any thoughts that don’t come in 140 characters or less?
This is my brain in 2011. I’m not sure how to slow it down. Except for two places.
Church. And baseball games. Which are remarkably the same, if you don’t clutter them up with lights and noise.
First, spring training is the way baseball was meant to be. No flashing lights, silly contests on the big screen, and massive distractions. Just the beauty of the grass, sunshine, smell of cigarettes, and a cold one in your hand. The crack of the bat, and I’m seven years old again watching slow pitch softball or sitting at Wrigley Field. This is 3 hours of slow down. The spitting, kicking of dirt, thinking, and walking – not running – to the dugout. One of the very few things that is as it has been for a couple of hundred years. This is pure therapy for the 140 character, never-stopping, wired brain of mine.
And then there’s church. Pardon me for wanting to slow down for an hour a week. I’ve gotten vertigo at some churches from the words flying past me on screens that take up the entire walls. Fog. Videos. Entertainment on steroids with the caffeine to boot.
My church is a little different. It’s a little like spring training baseball. Nothing digital. Lots of old people who grab your chin and look you in the eye when they say, “God’s peace.”
And the beauty of a ritual unchanged – and better for it – for hundreds, no thousands, of years. The smell of the wood beams. No thinking about the cool affliction shirt the pastor is wearing or the size of his biceps. Robes cover all that up. Surrounded by ancient ritual, songs, dipping the bread in a cup of wine – I’m unplugged for one, solitary and beautiful hour each week.
However you do it, unplug. Love to hear your thoughts on how.