I’ve run away from home. I’ve come to New York to stay with my grandparents with every intention to eat well, talk theology, write my book proposal, and fall off the grid. I’ve been successful at three of those things, and failed miserably at one.
I’ve eaten two home-cooked grandma meals, heard about their struggles in finding a church, and have several new Word Documents cluttering up my desk top. I’ve also responded to every Facebook message, email, text, and tweet that has come through in the last 48 hours.
What this means is that I actually haven’t run away from home. Because I am an utter failure at falling off the grid.
And the BFF is quick to point it out to me. As an example, I offer the following message that she sent me this morning:
So…I thought your reason for going out of town was to “disconnect for awhile,” “give people a chance to miss me,” “focus on writing.” Isn’t it hard to do those things when you’re lighting up Facebook and Twitter? I’m calling you out, friend!
I hate when she uses my words against, hate when she says exactly what she should say, and hate that she knows me so well. I love that she paid attention to the reasons why this trip was important to me, love that she’s someone who keeps me accountable to the things that are Kingdom work, and love that she knows me so well.
I love the other friends who’ve said, “I thought you were supposed to turn off your crackberry?” and “go write!”
Because when they say these things, what I’m hearing is that they support me and my writing. I’m hearing that they believe in this crazy book I’m writing, that they don’t think it’s the most ridiculous thing in the world for me to be doing. I’m hearing that there’s a story to tell that only I can tell, and that they are anxious to hear that story. And they’re on board to help me tell it, even if it means they have to call me out and yell at me to turn my phone off and stay off Facebook and Twitter.
What I gain from being off the grid is time with Jesus, to sit with Him and be attentive to the story He’s having me tell with my life and with my words. And we all need that time, I think, to be quiet and undistracted and reflective. Jesus wasn’t ashamed to take that time to go to the Garden, nor do I think we should feel guilty about needing time away. I think we should recognize that we especially need this time when we start to feel boxed in by life, when we’ve lost sense of the reason why we’re doing the things we’re doing, when our prayers stop including the phrase, “Thy will be done.” Sometimes, even if only for a few hours, if only for a couple of weeks, we all need to fall off the grid.
Except, this time I’m not falling off the grid. I’m being pushed. And I think that’s okay too.