60 hours Advent ‘shut down’ retreat

So, I’ve just completed 60 hours of trying to be silent and still. To pray and just, well just… be. I didn’t ignore the kids or shush my wife. It was just when I would normally be on the phone and on line, I just chose not to.

It was hard. I liken it to fasting from food, only 10 times worse. The hunger for being on-line checking my email, on the phone arranging stuff, or SMS friends panged in my being. However, unlike a hunger-pang it couldn’t be softened by having a sugar or two in a cup of milky tea. This fast kind of hurt. Badly.

Yet, as much as I missed being on top of ‘stuff’ I somehow feel as if my mind is clearer, less anxious about getting stuff done and I feel more determined to do the things that really do matter. Not just the eternal ramifications of doing the kind of job I do, but time here and now too with the children and with my wife. To welcome heaven upon earth in my home and with my family.

I feel like the past two days and a bit have refocused stuff around me, I somehow feel strangely liberated from something that I didn’t even know I needed freeing from.

I wrote a poem on the first morning:

Efficiency- a poem
Copyright Chris Duffett December 2011

I’m well efficient
Efficiency
With my lap top and BB
Not quite as sophisticated or smug as the iPhone or pad boys and girls,
Non-the-less I cab still plunge into my office online with a few magic twirls.
But my smart phone aint that smart
When my mind and heart
Are elsewhere away from the now
Lifted out of the real eye to eye, brow to brow,
Or when I google, then oogle at You tube,
Or waste time and bamboozle at bits and bobs, bum and boob.

Efficiency
You see
Isn’t what its cracked up to be
It’s made me on line,
Face Book savvy, blog sublime,
I feel kind of granny
This is somewhat uncanny
Declaring my habit’s un-god-manly
All a bit unhealthy
Being out there connected in
Busy with the biz
Seeing what Derick’s up to, even though I don’t know who the hell he is.

I’m well efficient
Efficiency
Can’t I just be?
Turn stuff off for a mo, two or three?
Efficiency
Even though all my gumph and ministry is on site
Compared to being still
It’s really just a pile of (rubbish)
—————————

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