Prayer is translation. A man translates himself into a child asking for all there is in language he has barely mastered.
- singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen
Our Internet service has been down since Sunday, and my 17-year-old son, deprived of his favorite computer game, is at loose ends. You would not want to meet him right now.
Still, I suspect the computer deprivation is good for him. It’s probably good for me, too, though I find it a royal bother to trek to the local coffee shop to send off work via Wi-Fi. Fortunately, I came of age in the pre-email era, when one couldn’t click “send” and have projects delivered in a moment. This gives me a perspective my teenager doesn’t have.
The ability to see things from different perspectives ranks high on my list of useful life skills. When I’m able to look at a problem in a different way, it’s easier to reframe it and get back on track. That’s why one of my favorite Bible verses is, " 'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways,' says the Lord."
It helps immensely to remember that God sees my troubles differently. It helps even more if, instead of trying to cajole him into adopting my small worldview, I open myself up to adopting his large one.
Frequently the real obstacles I face aren’t outside me, like being unable to access email, but inside, like my own frustration that life isn’t going as smoothly as I want. Fortunately, I strongly suspect I can serve Christ without Internet access. I am pretty sure my son can, too.
Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.