Welcome to (unbelievably) the third week of school. Many parents, teachers, and children have remarked to me recently that they cannot believe how quickly time is flying. It has been gratifying to see how quickly and smoothly the students and staff have settled into routines of hard work and play. Schoolwork procedures become ingrained, recess games begin swiftly, and everyone is happy to be together once again.
Serendipitously, my husband and I undertook a silent retreat the weekend before school began. The Trappist Monastery was booked six months in advance; so, when we made this reservation, it was not the intent to begin the school year in such a manner. But, as the weekend progressed, we realized it was a tradition we want to establish.
Spending three days without the continual noise and stimulation of a television, radio, phone, or tablet was fascinating, challenging, and invigorating. Surprisingly, I was never once bored. Besides the beautiful Divine Office in which we were able to participate, we found peace and inspiration in such simple activities as taking a walk, sitting to view the landscape, reading books, talking with new friends, listening to a lecture, and enjoying the close proximity of the Blessed Sacrament (right next to our bedrooms!).
Beyond the “what” we experienced without technology constantly present, was the “how”. I was continually impressed with pacing of -- everything. After each reading at Mass or the Office there was a pause of at least a minute. Time to reflect on God’s Word. To digest, to breath, and to listen. Throughout the day there was no hurrying. No bells. No time constraints. There was no television show we had to make time for. No errand to run before the store closed. No phone call to return before the office closed. Just being with one another and with our Lord.
Modern technology has brought many blessings. It connects us with relatives far away. It computes reams of data in milliseconds. But it has also increased the pace, import, and magnitude of everything we do.
So, I encourage you and your family to unplug a bit this week. Find the silence. Seek it out. Listen to God’s voice. Look at the beautiful faces of your children; enjoy their laughter. God did not create time until the fourth day. Let’s return to the beginning a little bit more again.
Yours Truly in Christ,
Dr. Amy Sansone