At the end of 2017 my wife and I went away for a breakaway weekend in the mountains. When we arrived we unexpectedly lost our phone signal. Suddenly no service! My first impulse was to find the highest point possible and I started climbing the closest hill – I had to make my way up a very steep hill, through bushes where it was really impossible to continue, but initially I tried. After almost falling a few times, losing a shoe, lots of bruises and scratches, still without signal, I turned back.
For the first day I found myself constantly thinking about messages that I should have sent. Being Saturday, I normally follow football scores, which I couldn’t do…leaving me quite irritated. I realised that the possibility to check or search anything immediately really made me impatient. With a smartphone close to you all the time, we are used to getting it all, immediately aren’t we? This is feeding a culture of instant gratification.
Again I had a choice – the rest of the weekend I decided to not give in to this impulse and just to let it go – I felt liberated and present. Calmly present to myself, my wife and the beautiful surroundings, I chose to rather focus on my own inner impulses and experiences. I realised that it is such a blessing that we as human beings can never be offline to our own consciousness. God is always there, always available. But, I am afraid, the constant, instant impulses takes us away from that and from ourselves.
Your creative response?
Maybe, once in a while, try to not give in to the impulse of instant gratification and ask yourself how important it really is. Intentionally wait a few minutes before you check your phone.
The impatience which feeds this impulse, often takes me away to really be online, and soulfully present, in the current moment and within myself.
May 2018 be a year where you intentionally disconnect from the “instant” in order to soulfully connect to what matters most in your life!