My parents have a little house in Daniels West Virginia where my father was born and raised, when my Grandmother died my freshman year of College instead of selling the home dad’s siblings decided to give it to us. Since then it’s been a place where we enjoy holidays, vacations during the summer, and a few days of rest whenever it’s needed.
Going to the Daniels house is a strange experience for me because I am absolutely addicted to technology; and there is no internet, home phone, or cable there. In my younger years this created serious problems since I would get bored roughly two hours after arriving. The older I become the more precious that retreat become, yet there is one part of the Daniels house that still has a strange affect on me; it’s far too quiet.
I’m not referring to actual silence but there is a serious lack of background noise or business when we stay there. The television isn’t on (we do watch it sometimes but there’s only four channels, five if you position the antenna just right) we still use our computers but the lack of internet cuts that down drastically, there is not a whole lot to do there except work…or sit out on the porch and drink coffee.
There is something about drinking coffee on the porch that sets off alarms in my mind because it feels like I am being lazy. This probably comes from growing up in the US where we pride ourselves on giving 110% (that’s a good thing), and my desire to work harder than other people since the Lord has given me a unique position in life (not many 37 year old single guys who don’t have a regular 9 to 5 job). Whatever it is, after about fifteen minutes of sitting on the porch my mind starts screaming “your being too lazy do something!!!”
Being in a place that’s slower and quieter than our daily lives isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, actually it’s healthy! It is impossible to keep up the hectic pace of life without stopping to rest occasionally, eventually our bodies will force us to do it because of physical or emotional exhaustion. So it’s better for us to have places like the Daniels house; places where everyone sleeps in till 8:00, where you spend the afternoon pulling weeds and washing the car, where dinner lasts an hour instead of twenty minutes, where you may even pull out the Uno or Phase Ten cards. A place where you can rest.
Does this mean we should spend every day of our lives sitting out on a porch drinking coffee? Of course not (unfortunately) there is far too much work the Lord wants us to do, but there needs to be a refuge or place of rest in our lives. Whether that involves turning off all technology for a few hours every night, going hiking, or just spending the afternoon with family doesn’t really matter..as long as life slows down.
Friday night I am driving up to the Daniels house with my dad so we can mow the grass and do some work in the yard. We will end up doing lots work, but also spending a lot of time just sitting on the porch and drinking coffee.
I can’t wait