Unplugged…sort of.

I’ve decided to unplug from all my various computerized devices…sort of.

I came to this decision shortly after losing, and very probably riding over, my aging iPhone in the driveway of my home, while desperately attempting to free our van from a whole bunch of snow.  I’m pretty sure that, having temporarily put my phone in my lap while driving, it was a simple enough task to step out of the stuck van, drop said phone on the driveway, then drive over it while rocking back and forth in the stuck vehicle.  At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it until proven wrong.

What does this have to do with the decision to “unplug” a bit?

Simply that I got to thinking about how trying to live my daily life while dealing with three different computers, running on two different operating systems, always checking my email and text messages lest I miss something, was again, to put it simply – crazy.  Where and how can anyone stay emotionally calm and healthy, not to mention grow spiritually, doing that day in and day out?

So, I got a simpler phone, took a deep breath, and let people know that in the future I would prefer a few more direct conversations and a lot fewer instant messages.

Now, my wife Elizabeth, hasn’t gone quite this insane.  She upgraded to a new iPhone, and is looking forward to being back on her iPad soon (she loves her iPad).

It is also ironic that I am writing this post on my laptop, using my mobile hotspot, to connect to the world and talk about how I am stepping back, at least a little, from modern technology.

We will see how all this works out.

For now, I feel a little calmer, a little more centered, a little more able to hear the “still, small voice of God.”

If you are up to the challenge – I invite you to “unplug” a little bit yourself.  Then let me know what psychological and spiritual insights you receive in the process.

Just don’t instant message me.  I haven’t figured out how to use my new flip phone.



By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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