January 1, 2013
The screen is black, the cursor blinking on the blank page in front of me beckons. They are just where I left them in 2008, five years ago when I unplugged.
Much has changed in the five years since I posted my last column, The Road to Rome. Reflecting on the presidential election of the season that first put Obama in charge of my future, I proffered:
While all roads may lead to Rome, Obama is beckoning for us to follow him down a singular road with few sign markers. Focused almost entirely on the journey, we have lost sight of where we are headed. The road is only the first part of the trip. But where are we going? Destination matters.
I wrote out my fears and discomfort for the future of our country under his leadership, and then I unplugged. It was not an act of resignation, a throwing up of my hands or a capitulation lived out in silence. Unplugging was born on the inside, a spiritual call to God…and from God. What was I to do with my life? In February of that same year, I had scribbled out my doubts:
Unplugged, creating space in life, making each action defend its significance, there are no perfect choices. Do I…don’t I…type my scribbles, two months late, into the first 2008 column for my website? If I don’t, another worthy writer will fill the void. If I do, I will use precious minutes – either gift or sacrifice or indulgence – a writer’s continual struggle to identify the importance of what we do in the manger next to the Babe who needs us still, long after the Christmas boxes are back in the garage.
It began two months ago, a decision to unplug from distractions and enter the miracle. Do I…don’t I…on…or off…a question, a choice, unsettled and unending.
Today, the same spirit inside seems to be reopening its arms to my dreams. While questions remain, I sense a permission to engage again.
As I predicted, in my absence the void has been more than filled with Facebook posts and pics, blogs and tweets. No matter what you have to say to the world, you can more than say it. I left an Internet lake in 2008. In 2013, I prepare to jump into the Internet ocean.
One more drop of water in the vast expanse of Internet chatter-water. It should make even less difference today than it made five years ago…what I think…and why. Yet, a gentle spirit nudges me. It is time.
To write, not to write. Do I…don’t I…on…or off? If I plug in today, how do I explain five years of silence to myself? What was that about?
During that time, we have had another election, and Obama has settled in for four more years. While the national dialogue swirls around his name and personality, the bigger issue is the reason he is in office. He is there because individual people put him there. One at a time, each single person checked the box next to his name.
Interestingly, though, an NBC exit poll reveals that 52 percent of American voters in the election believe the country is “seriously off on the wrong track.” We voted for the man and the people he has chosen as his advisers to lead us down “the wrong track” we are “off on.”
America still marches down the road Obama is paving…riding on the track he is laying. And destination still matters. If I am being dragged down the track with the rest of America, I can wave my arms, I can yell to the wind, or…I can plug back in.
No time like the present. One grain of sand out of millions on the beach. One drop of water splashing in the ocean. But here I am… jumping… splashing… plugging in.