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Power Outages

DSC04444There doesn’t seem to be much in this day and age that elicits as deep of an emotional response as a power outage. I’m sure you know the feelings. What starts as a simple hope that it’ll only last a couple of minutes can lead to disappointment, worry, frustration, sadness, and anger, not to mention excitement and thanksgiving once it returns. Of course there’s always the wish that it won’t happen again for a very long time…

I will not claim to have never reacted in these ways, but power outages really aren’t that bad! In fact, when you really think about it, they can actually be quite a blessing. We have the opportunity to offer our inconveniences up to God. (I know there are people on oxygen and the like whose lives depend on the power holding out. That would be significantly more than a simple inconvenience, so those types of situations are not really my focus.)

In this increasingly technological world, I think that power outages are one of God’s ways of trying to get us to see what really matters: real human relationships, not material goods!

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  • Instead of zoning out in front of the television or computer, it’s a perfect time to connect with our loved ones. Play a game or even just have a good old fashioned conversation. Or why not try saying the Rosary together as a family? Or crack open the Bible?
  • Don’t worry about all the stuff in your refrigerator or freezer that’s just sitting in there rotting. Look at it as God trying to tell you to clean it out and start fresh. Think about how many people could not afford to refill their refrigerators afterward. Think about how many of them wouldn’t have lost very much anyway due to their financial hardships. Then again, aren’t we lucky to have refrigerators to begin with?
  • Try not to dwell too much on not having electric lights either. I understand that reading is significantly easier in the evening using electricity, but there isn’t much that can’t be accomplished by the low light of a candle or a flashlight.

It is said that our sufferings bring us closer to Christ, but these sufferings bring us closer to Him in a different way. He never had a refrigerator. He never turned on a light switch. He never wondered what was on television that evening. Never once googled something! He made out alright, didn’t He?

Rotten food can be swapped out for fresh food. Television shows can be seen when a repeat is aired. Technology will continue to evolve. Our loved ones cannot be replaced. Our times with them cannot be reproduced.

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  • Adrienne - Jessica, loved this!!! Such great points, especially about how Jesus didn’t have any of this, so power outages bring us significantly closer to him given how much of our lives are dependent on things that require power.September 21, 2011 – 7:23 amReplyCancel

  • Martina - I can really appreciate the need to turn ourselves away from our electronic gadgets {uh hem, guilty!} and to focus our attention on the things that truly matter. This piece is SO well-timed for me, and I am about to leave for our pastoral council retreat and want to do so with a clear head and a new appreciation for the things that really matter when I get home tomorrow. 🙂September 21, 2011 – 2:23 pmReplyCancel

  • Christine - “Our loved ones cannot be replaced. Our times with them cannot be reproduced.” <— so true. How many valuable moments with our spouses and children might we miss out on if we continue to indulge in internet, TV, etc. rather than focus on the precious human beings surrounding us. Great post!September 21, 2011 – 4:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle - This made me smile! I will definitely view a power outage in a different way next time it happens! Thank you!September 22, 2011 – 11:09 pmReplyCancel

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