Our family has been enjoying this simpler life, and have been learning day-by day what it means to choose simple. For example, I have chosen to pre-write my posts on a typewriter, and though it isn’t a classic Underwood (It is an electric Smith Corona SL 460) it is a typewriter, and I have found joy in using an instrument that this manual. (Have you tried replacing the correction tape in one of these things?)
Today I listened to a Robcast entitled “Good and Perfect,” in which Rob Bell explains the differences between “good” and “perfect.” Basically, the word “perfect” denotes the idea that you must match the standard, that you must be the picture of the perfect Athlete, the perfect Scholar, or the perfect Writer. It’s kind of hard to explain, but regardless “perfect” is an ideal that you will find it hard to ever live up to. (I’m sure this concept is one we’re all overly familiar with, as this tends to be the standard we measure ourselves to in our heads.)
“Good” is acceptant to your humanity. If you saw the amount of miss-spellings I make with a typewriter, it would probably drive someone who uses a computer word-processor crazy. (That would be all of us, at this point.) I have been someone who has always had a critical eye to the world around me, but one only must only go to the very beginning of the Bible to notice how God set this world in motion as a place that is “good” with all the death and life that takes place every day. Sometimes I am reminded of Thomas Jefferson’s “Great Watchmaker” belief of God. (I know Thomas choose-your-own-adventure Jefferson isn’t exactly the person to reference when making a Bible reference though.)
We have decided to live a life that accepts who we are, and doesn’t allow in judgement of ourselves. Both of us have been learning to let go of past voices we have in our heads that hold us back from really enjoying the juicy fruit life has to offer. Every day is a gift, to borrow an over-used platitude. (Interesting story about platitudes: I read an article yesterday of how Google Engineers have figured out the reason why so many phones in India are filling their space up. People in India have recently gotten into writing “Good morning” messages to each other every morning. They liked to have the messages superimposed over some kind of inspirational picture, with a different inspirational “good morning” message to each of their friends and family.)
There are certain practices you can use, once you have decided this life looks pretty good, such as reducing screen time, participating in life together, and using a typewriter (you know I must stick that in there. (Side note, Declan calls writing on a typewriter “printing.”) This modern world we live in is a tough balance sometimes, as we are lured by the latest and greatest ways of making our lives better, but we shouldn’t just leave old ways behind. It’s kind of like this whole “screen-time” debate. There are plenty of articles out there telling you screen-time is terrible for your kids, but I almost guarantee that most of you parents out there use screen-time with your kids as a negotiating tool because apparently kids think they can’t be without it. We tried dodging this bullet for a long time. This is a difficult one given the way our world is inundated with media, commercials, and such everywhere you go. I can only imagine what Declan is going to encounter once he starts going to school. (There is really something wrong with this typewriter now…)
Well, I’m getting tired, and cannot think well anymore, so I’ll sum up everything I’ve been saying.
1) Listen to voices that will help you, not just voices you have been told to listen to. (for me, this happens to include Rob Bell; someone who for some reason, church leaders I have known no longer like anymore. It’s interesting how voices that give inspiration, speak truths, and help you feel and become free, are never the same voices certain leaders want you to listen to. Also, if the voice is inclusive… nope.)
2) Replacing typewriter ribbons can be risky, and your typewriter may suffer afterwards. (How do you get this thing aligned?) Also, I have officially taken the correction ink out of this typewriter even though the damage has been done…
3) Screen time for kids and adults is not good in high, frequent doses; but it’s pretty much unavoidable nowadays. With this being the case, you can limit how much time you and your kids are in front of screens to reduce the ill effects, and if you do limit screen time for your whole family during the week, you will find a positive effect. (Is it effect or affect?) Sometimes on the weekends now, I look forward to having our screen-time taken away.
I know I have been scattered tonight, but I felt it was important to reconnect, as it’s been over a week. I wrote something back on the 17th, but didn’t publish it, as I would have had to type it up all over again on this computer, eliminating the errors so some of you wouldn’t have your brains explode while reading it.
Well, Declan wants me to stop “printing” and come wrestle, so I’ll see you guys later.