Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tweet-Tweet. (Alternative title: I killed the birdy and it changed my life)

I liked it at first.  The little birdy ‘tweet-tweet’ that sounded with every incoming email.  And how handy – right in my pocket on my new-to-me hand-me-down Iphone, I would know the moment someone needed anything!  It was a cute little sound, one that made me smile at first, and made my officemates laugh.  What a great feeling, carrying around the tweet-tweet with me – oh, how I could bless others with my immediate response! How I could make myself available at a moment’s notice, wherever I am, to read and be ‘in the know’ the moment something gets announced, to put out the fire erupting somewhere, to be the one who swings in at the right moment with the right words to calm a situation or to solve a problem.

And really, I’ll be honest – It made me feel important. Needed.  Necessary.  All things that every single one of us wants to feel.  We crave it, in our innermost being – to be a critical part of something bigger than ourselves. And this is how that little tweet-tweet made me feel. 

I was okay with the fact that it went off in the middle of a conversation.  Oh, how important am I?  Let me check this email before I come back to our conversation.  Oh, this is a big deal, I need to take care of it RIGHT NOW. 

But then, over several weeks, something changed – the little tweet-tweet didn’t bring the shot of euphoria it once did. Hmmm, how did that happen?   Gradually as my workload continued to increase and the email traffic along with it, I found myself slightly irritated at the little birdy in my pocket – can I please just catch a few minutes away? But oh, I’m sorry, right, this might be something urgent, I’m glad I’ve got the little birdy with me to tell me when I need to be on my toes…. It doesn’t matter that it’s a weekend or I’ve worked a hundred hours this week. I love my job and am here to serve.  So, little birdy, I’m here for you.

And just like that, I became a slave to the little birdy.  Before long that tweet-tweet that would interrupt every single conversation, interaction, or meeting.  The first thing I did when I woke up and the last thing before going to sleep was to check emails, just one more time, to make sure there isn’t anything really important.   I would fall asleep thinking about how I would word a response to something, and then dream of my poor translating of an email getting me fired from my job. 

Oh Lord, forgive me.  Oh, my friends – to you whom I’ve turned away from conversation and heart connection and relationship to answer the little birdy, I’m so, so sorry. 

I went away for the last two days, on an interior hospital assessment (blog post with photos to come later), and for the first time in many weeks, the birdie was silenced. 

Oh, the relief! 

And then, the realization that sent me to my knees in repentance – one person does not sink a ship.  Especially this one, where every single day situations and interactions remind me that this is God’s ship, not ours. How arrogant of me to believe that I am really that important, that if I don’t respond this minute that something drastic might happen that only I can fix.  How many conversations and relationships have I missed out on because of the little birdy tweeting in my pocket? And how many other people were prevented from stepping up and helping out in a situation because I had the immediate response? And how much stress and sleeplessness could have been averted had I not become a slave to the tweet-tweet?

So this morning I killed the birdy.  I shut off the tweet-tweet notification that comes from every email.  I had rich and beautiful and complete conversations with friends and coworkers and had a marvelously productive day that was laced with grace and joy and a peace I haven’t felt since the birdy first took up residence in my pocket. 

The cry of my heart - That I would never again become slave to the urgent.  That I would be known for my love, peace, joy, kindness, goodness, and gentleness, and not for the ugliness that is arrogance and pride in me.  That I would rest in the shadow of His wings and speak life into His people and love well and live free.

~K

1 comment:

  1. Can I get an AMEN!!! You are not alone in this from both sides (being the one who checks the tweets to the ones who've been interrupted by the tweets)!!

    For the record...your "little birdy -tweet-tweet" email notification could so very appropriately be replaced with a "little duck - quack-quack" (my personal favorite) text notification or a "little bell - ding-ding or dong-dong" FB notification and it would fit the entire context of your post!

    I have personally encountered many (and none of them you btw) who have paused me for their own personal bird, duck or bell check to be sure to be caught up on the latest - only for them to rejoin the conversation sharing their new found 'news' as if to elicit an approval from me for so rudely interrupting us in the first place!

    Thank you for your honesty! It's refreshing, it's needed and oh so essential and I love you for it!

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