I don’t tend to be attached to things. There is little I own that I could not part with fairly easily, by which I mean I might be initially a bit upset if it were destroyed, but would get over reasonably quickly.
The exception is my computer. I sometimes joke that if Jesus said drop everything and come follow me, I’d ask, “Could I back up my computer first.” Everything I am working on is on my computer, although I do try to back-up things reasonably frequently (kind of).
I’ve now been without my laptop for two days. Some weirdness began on Friday, affecting some of my operations and preventing me from backing anything up. I brought the computer into the law school IT folks Monday morning and by Monday afternoon, it was in worse shape than in the morning. IT worked on it all day yesterday and will continue working this morning.
I think it is pretty fair to say my behavior Monday was pretty unimpressive. I was practically unable to focus on any work as I fretted over not having my computer and not knowing what was that status of all that was on my computer. Seriously, you would think some major tragedy was at hand as I paced unhappily around my office. Monday afternoon I wrote to a friend of mine, “At times like these I wonder how much progress I’ve made from years of meditating, as I sit here trying to focus on my breath and reach a state of calm when what I really want to do is climb the walls (or jump out the window).”
As soon as sent the note I realized the craziness of allowing myself to get crazy over this. Was some horrendous tragedy going to occur as a result of my being without my computer for a couple of days? True I had a set of projects I had planned to get substantial work done on this week, but was the world really going to suffer if they were delayed by a couple of days? And even if the worst happened – that everything that hadn’t been backed up was lost, would that really be a the end of the world?
No, no and no. I took a few more breaths. Yes, this was (is) annoying. Yes, it was (is) frustrating. Yes, it affected (and continues to affect) my work. But it is what it is. A few more deep breaths. It will resolve itself and no worrying on my part will affect how that resolution occurs. So let go the anxiety. Let it be. It worked – yesterday I was much calmer about the whole situation.
I, of course, still hope that when I get into the office this morning I will hear some good news indicating that I will soon have a functioning computer back. But I go in with peace in my heart and an ability to accept whatever news I am given.
I am so sorry that this happened to you – is happening to you! Yet it comes with some wisdom for all of us, including me, who is sweating profusely at the thought of being in your shoes.
Grace is mediated through such objects in the world, the small s sacraments – but those “things” can also keep us from God.