Monday, September 24, 2007


This past week I have been teaching in a remote area of the country. Though I have access to the Internet via a cell phone dial up, I don’t have ready access and what I do have is slow and unreliable. Being away from DSL in my home has been a great benefit. Though I have little knowledge of what is happening in the world I find my circumstances to be quite refreshing.

The first benefit of being “unplugged” is that I am not wasting time surfing the net. Television is a wonderful communication and entertainment tool, however, to sit before, what we use to call the “boob tube,” for hours is a time stealer. I’ve heard it said that it takes less mental energy to watch TV than when sleeping. I’m assuming it’s because in sleep our mind is still engaged in dreaming. The same can be said of sitting in front of a computer for hours checking mail, reading news and the weather. Helpful if you can discipline yourself, but unfortunately I am not as disciplined as I should be and waste an incredible amount of time clicking links. My oldest daughter, Becky, wrote the other day and lamented the time she spends at the computer and has asked her husband to hide their connecting cord, forcing her away from the worldwide web.

The second benefit of isolation is that I reading more and listening to messages I have downloaded on my computer. I intentionally did not bring DVD movies on this trip to force myself to seek other outlets of pastime activities. I am of the old school in Bible study and sill find the late Dr. J. Vernon McGee and his “Through The Bible Studies,” both inspiring and even amusing. Listening to a verse-by-verse study of the Scriptures has been much more rewarding than the dire news reported on CNN.

Third, without the distractions of 24/7 connection, I have been able to think, exercise, pray and write with more consistency. If I just write one page a day for a whole year I will have put down enough words to make a pretty decent book. There is no guarantee that what I’ve written will ever see the publishing light of day, but certainly I will have a better chance in making a book a reality than if I fritter away my writing time by checking the ten-day weather forecast in Summers, Arkansas.

Of course the greatest challenge is if I will remember the benefits of being unplugged when I get home. Perhaps, like my daughter, I will have to ask my wife to hide the DSL cord to make sure I remain unplugged.