I did something this morning I haven't done for months. I turned off the Kathy Smith workout DVD, I got my tennis shoes on, I opened the front door and I went outside for a walk. Keep in mind a walk is a pretty big deal around here since the Minnesota winters keep us pretty bundled up between October and April. It was still only 36 degrees, but spring is definitely in the air. I heard a bird chirp and I breathed in real-life air. It is true that there are still piles of snow. The salt and gunk make everything look a little dirty and the Christmas lights and broken plastic snowmen seemed a little sad.
It's on mornings like this, however, that I begin to appreciate what a mediated life I really live. As I walked, I began to feel clear. I had no music playing, no t.v. or computer to look at and no clock dictating my every step. It was me and my neighborhood. There is something significant that happens when we step out from our environmentally controlled homes and workplaces and put aside the technology that fills in our days. We come one step closer to connecting with reality--not the pre-processed, virtual kind of reality, but the real kind. The kind where we have no technology sitting between us and creation. The kind where we catch a bigger glimpse of who our creator is.
This kind of reality gives us silence and a space to think. It gives us fresh air and the clarity to breathe. Its on mornings like this that I wonder what I sacrifice as my world becomes increasingly contained and mediated. Walking in a brisk Minnesota morning reminds me that God has so much more for me than highly scheduled days, exhausted evenings and a life that settles for controlled and superficial experiences. Reality can be a little uncomfortable (yes, my cheeks were pretty much frozen as I walked back up my driveway after my walk), but sometimes that clarity and that space are exactly what we need to reconnect and wake up to the adventure that God has prepared just for us.