Well, actually it’s the girls .. my two daughters have decided to grace us with a visit for a long weekend. They’re not staying for Easter because there is “so much going on at Uni”. It’s nice to have them back, even for just a short while (Although Hope’s social life means I won’t see much of her, but Heather makes up for it with her kitchen cleaning skills!)
Of course just because they are away on the East coast of Scotland for most of the year doesn’t mean that I can’t keep in touch. Indeed the options and opportunities just seem to keep on developing and growing! When I was at Uni it was either personal visit (though my mum didn’t drive so that never happened), phone call (to the Hall of Residence communal phone that no-one, including me, ever answered) or letter (“please let there be a cheque in here!”)
Nowadays, as well as the 3 above (although both girls have a phone in their rooms) there is the option of mobile phone, text messaging, email and the ubiquitous Facebook by which I follow their travels and travails (even seeing the messages they probably wish I hadn’t because they forget that I’m on Facebook too)
It is probably as close as I’ll ever come to being like God – I can watch over and be (virtually) omnipresent. Like God, I also have to bite my tongue sometimes not to intervene in their lives even when I think I could help out or make things easier. The gift of free will given to us by God is one that I am beholden to pass on to my children – almost irrespective of the consequences.
Of course, all this communication opportunity brings its own frustrations, too. Time was; you sent a letter – it took 3 days to arrive and so the earliest you could realistically expect a reply was one week after you’d sent it. Now I can receive an email and, ten minutes later get another one asking me if I got the first and, if I did, why I haven’t replied. And, truth be told, I sometimes fall into that trap myself!
and texting is even worse! The response has to be absolutely immediate! I can just about accept that someone may not be at their computer to respond to email but they’ll always have their mobile phone on, won’t they? There is no escape. The frustration of not being contacted (I’m waiting for a reply to a text I sent this morning as I type) is as great as the frustration of not being contactable because you’re in a “dead” zone – and why are so many Christian youth residential centres built in the middle of nowhere with really poor mobile coverage?
I remember the scene in “Bruce Almighty” when Bruce has to deal with all the prayer requests and quickly gets snowed under – one of the problems with being always contactable! But God doesn’t switch off his computer, doesn’t leave her phone off the hook – I just wish God had a Facebook page so that I could keep up to date on what’s exercising God’s energies at any given time.
Anyway, my mate has just texted back so I’ve got to go; got a reply to draft 🙂