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The Unexpected Blessings of Internet Interruptus

So what if your Wi-Fi (or satellite) connection is down? Here are the joys beyond life online.

Blessings of time
Credit: Katye Martens Brier

Just like that, the digital rug was pulled out from under me. In the middle of a Zoom meeting sans any warning whatsoever, my internet connection went kaput! It felt like someone had slipped a blindfold on me. 

Living temporarily in what my New York friends call the sticks—I point out that Gracie loves sticks—I’m relegated to a satellite internet connection rather than the high speed cable or fiber optic data delivery others enjoy. I immediately called my provider, trying to keep the hysteria out of my voice. Mysteriously, the technician was able to connect me to a series of technical screens while he guided me through a long, complicated systems check. I discovered several interesting things in this process, including the actual name of the satellite orbiting the earth that handles my communications. Now I can pray for my satellite by name.

Not that it did any immediate good. None of the steps the technician prescribed boosted my signal beyond anemic. After a good 45 minutes he said, “I’m very sorry, Julee”—the account is in Julee’s name so to cut through the inevitable red tape I always claim to be Julee; the spelling usually throws them off and if they probe further I claim that Julee is the French spelling of the masculine version of the name Julie and my parents were from Paris—“I’m very sorry, Julee, but we will have to schedule the dreaded service call.” He didn’t actually say dreaded but that’s what I heard because these service guys are impossible to reach, except by email or text of which I was obviously bereft. Even then they are maddeningly vague about when they plan to show up. “Some time next month between the hours of 8-11 am.” 

You might think I could access the internet through my cell phone. Unfortunately, that particular network coverage ends about a mile down the road so I must get in my car and drive to the nearest spot where I can get a signal, which is the parking lot of a Chinese restaurant, if I want to get my email or otherwise communicate with the outside world. I always end up ordering a couple of egg rolls or something just to make things right with the owners.

Then there are the social media platforms that I don’t care about but can’t seem to actually live without. And the weather. How could I check the weather? “Well, you can always just go outside,” Julee suggested. Easy for her to say. She still had a connection via her phone through a different provider than mine.  

Eventually it dawned on me that there might just be a deeper message in all this. Not that the Lord would interfere with my extraterrestrial internet connection. But the loss of the internet left me with time on my hands, something I’m chronically short of

Shouldn’t I be grateful for this hidden blessing? A little more time to think and reflect, more time to pray and meditate, to read and write, to cook a meal from scratch, to watch a movie with Julee, to take a nap. More time for a hike with Gracie before I drag her back to the car (her words if she could say them—treks in the hills, even in the freezing dead of winter, are never long enough). More time when I am not on information overload. More time I should make for myself without a technology failure deciding for me. 

So, I will make the best use of this internet interruptus. I will accept this unexpected blessing and not stand at the window waiting for the tech to arrive. I will heed the message that the world still turns, and life goes on without the internet. That God is in His heaven and all is well. 

I don’t know when I can transmit this blog to the team at Guideposts who posts it. Maybe never. But if you’re reading this, you know I’m up and running again. For better or worse. Or else you can find me eating egg rolls in the parking lot of my favorite Chinese restaurant.

Could you live a few days—or forever—without the internet? Let me know by clicking here. I’m interested.

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