No Internet!

There’s no internet!

Earthquake, tornado, 12 inches of snow, differing disasters – but is there any statement more frustrating than…

There’s no internet!

It happened to me this morning. I was up early, drove to my office, and was ready to write a brilliant Interruption. But there was no internet.

I have large monitors and use Microsoft Notes to write Interruptions. Along with Microsoft Notes, I set up four parallel translations of the Bible, a Greek version of the New Testament, YouTube playing worship music, Outlook for keeping track of email, and several books for reference on Kindle – all on large screens where I can see it all at one time. 

But today, only Microsoft Notes on the screen and no YouTube worship, open books on Kindle, or Bible translations. Why?

There’s no internet.

If someone asks me today, “How did your day go?” I will get a modest look of compassion if I tell them, “I ran out of gas in my car on the way to the dentist for a root canal after my cat scratched me while I moved her from the breakfast table to the floor.”

That someone will say, “Don’t worry, things will get better. God causes all things to work together for the good.”

But if I say to that someone, “There was no internet at work today.” Someone will then say, “Wow, I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been. Absolutely the worst thing to happen. I will call immediately and put you on my church’s prayer chain.”

We have wars and rumors of wars, economic inflation, fighting over masks, protests, and still no Fritos™ at Kroger. But is anything worse than no internet? I had to write this Interruption without access to versions of scripture, comments on Greek words, or quotes from my Kindle library.

Recently, I read a book entitled Shallows that decries how the internet and mobile devices hinder our ability to think critically and deeply. I agree with the author, at least right now when I have no internet.

Later today, I’m supposed to send several chapters of my new book to an editor, have a Zoom with someone, plan a conference for next Saturday, and reply to my weekend accumulation of two or three hundred thousand emails in my inbox. 

(Two or three hundred thousand? Slightly exaggerated but don’t get frustrated if I don’t return your emails.)

Hey, the internet just came back! What a quick answer from that church’s prayer chain.

Let me get a quote from the book, Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains, by Nicholas Carr. He describes what the internet did to his brain, and probably to yours right now as you read this Interruption:

And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. Whether I’m online or not, my mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.

Internet is still on so let me add some scripture.

λογιζομαι γαρ οτι ουκ αξια τα παθηματα του νυν καιρου προς την μελλουσαν δοξαν αποκαλυφθηναι εις ημα

Oops, that’s the Greek Romans 8:18; let me get the NASB version from another screen.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Amen. I think having “no internet” should be in the “sufferings” category.  

And, “Alexa, please add Fritos™ to my grocery list.”