For the first time in my life I totally know how Superman feels when he runs into unforeseen kryptonite. For the last twenty four hours or so the church email server has been down and, while I can work on the Internet and do important things (like post blog entries), I cannot receive or send email from my account.
For some of you this might possibly be good news. In my case, I feel stripped powerless . . . emasculated (can I use this word to refer to my female self?). This is not a happy feeling.
While I have tried to press on, to keep up with the necessities of life, I find I am constantly working to keep my head above the waves of panic that seem to be rolling over me unanticipated.
In case this is a new concept for you, let me describe these waves of panic. When they come these are some of the thoughts that come with them: What if I am missing something important? What if I’ve received a critical, time-sensitive email (About what, Amy? The Church Council meeting agenda? The layout for the new visitor cards? Get real.)? What if I don’t respond instantaneously and someone in the congregation thinks that I am . . . (I can barely type this) . . . unresponsive?
I know what you are thinking: “Wow, that girl has problems.” Given the frightening level of my current state of anxiety over lack of email access (not to mention quite a few other things), I have to say . . . I am inclined to agree with you.
In fact, this current crisis is enough to make me start thinking that perhaps the situation has progressed far beyond what most might consider normal. Let me give you an example. Two weeks ago I was in Los Angeles for a conference. I had email access (thanks be to God for wireless Internet) but I was in intense meetings during which I could rarely check my email. When I got back to my hotel room that night and logged on I found that, excluding the “make your girl happy tonight” emails (how the heck did I get on THAT list?), I had 67 emails to answer. 67! In one day!
Is this an illness? Maybe so.
Here’s how this psychosis first started. It was sometime last year when we got a new server at the church. Unlike the previous set up, this new server made email very easy. In fact, with the addition of remote access I could check email anywhere I could log onto the Internet! I could read my email! I could answer my email! I could be responsive!
(Did you know you can check email in the middle of the Mayan ruins in Tikal, Guatemala? It’s true.)
This state was only exacerbated by a gift I received early last year from a good friend who is also a congregation member and Sprint employee. I was scared of my BlackBerry at first. Now on the rare occasions I am without it I feel panic that I’d imagine is somewhere along the lines of what I might feel if I had mistakenly left the house without clothes on (what my neighbors might feel in such a case is probably akin to horror, but that’s another blog entry. Without pictures.) I have become so adept at typing on my BlackBerry with my thumbs I can do it almost as fast as using a regular keyboard.
My most recent bout with this illness happened when I acquired a used lap top (for travel, you know . . . to write sermons while I am on the road . . .). But this lap top has a wireless Internet card, so it’s almost like having my BlackBerry but with a full-sized keyboard and easy access to other important software. It could very well be that this acquisition pushed me over the edge.
But I didn’t know how fast I was falling until . . . the day the email died.
That would be yesterday.
And I have to tell you, it’s been awfully quiet over the past day. My BlackBerry has been happily charging in its cradle, getting a long-deserved rest. My family actually had access to the computer last night (and my undivided attention). My laptop is packed away.
It all feels so strange . . . maybe even a little peaceful?
Let’s get real, though. Anybody who knows me even very slightly should already suspect that I would be lying if I told you I was not praying for the miracle of restored email service sometime today.
Preferrably sooner rather than later.
In fact, I am feeling so much withdrawl that, if I can get my hyperventilating under control, I am thinking I might even hand write some letters.
Being a follower of Jesus means I always aim to live my life in the light of the resurrection story, of course, and you can call my spirituality shallow if you must (not in an email, though . . . hahahahahaha!) but today, I am praying that somehow, miraculously, the email will be brought back to life.
I believe. Lord, help my unbelief.