At my house, on November 9, 2020, at 10:00 pm, the WiFi died. Everyone in my house was asleep at the time and I was watching one of my favorite shows. The type of show that I call passive reality TV nonsense because I just passively jump in and out of watching it and do other things at the same time because if I miss anything on the show it really doesn’t matter because the formula of the show is the same. It’s sorta like fast food; it doesn’t have any real flavor, but it’s familiar. You know the kinda show I’m talking about.
Anyway, I had the show running, but at the same time, I was typing a work email in response to my supervisor who sent a very caring email to find out how I was holding up this semester, Fall 2020, as me and my colleagues attempted to roll out a whole new course, online. I’ll let you imagine how lengthy and detailed that email was. Seriously, I was pouring my heart out. She was about to get a chapter of my life with all the whoas and challenges I’ve had for the past 4 months.
But just as I began typing paragraph number 2, the WiFi just cut out...TV silent, the computer displayed that God awful T-Rex, signaling that I was now in the age of the dinosaur. My thought was that it would return within a few minutes because that is what happens every once in a while in our house. But it didn’t return. I looked at my clock, it was 10 pm right on the nose.
It is very unusual for me to go to bed at 10 pm. I’ll be clear, I am a serious night owl, sis. It is my time to just stay up all hours of the night doing whatever I please (mostly to watch bad TV, drink something warm, and check out what I missed on social media every hour on the hour). But it was 10 pm and there was no WiFi. Believe it or not, this was not a surprise to me AT ALL!
The morning of the same day, God woke me up to pray. There had been a few days when I was feeling like I needed to slow down and really focus on God much more than I was doing at the time. So, I grabbed my Bible and headed to my special room where I laid out a small blanket to kneel in prayer and read God’s Word. As I began to pray, my mind wandered at first, so I opened my Bible to read. Somehow, I settled on Isaiah chapter 2, verses 6-22. Isaiah, the prophet, calls out a warning to the Israelites about their constant consumption, disregard for God’s greatness, and worship of idols. It is a description of what will come of Israel if they do not turn away from their idols and pride, and humble themselves.
After reading, that chapter, I just felt like I needed to turn away from my consumption and pride. I knew that this scripture was what I needed to get myself back to the place that I once knew. I prayed about it and asked God to help me figure out how to discipline myself so that I could hear His voice more clearly. “Help me, LORD, to be more in tune with You because I really need Your peace and Your direction in my life right now.” I got up off of my knees, zipped up my Bible cover, and went about my day working with students online, grading papers, checking in on my son, chatting with my husband, making and eating dinner with the family, reading a devotional with my son, and then….me time. My time to chill and stay up, alone. I clicked on the TV, opened my laptop, and began typing my email when it all shut down at 10 pm.
I am inclined to believe that God was in the WiFi debacle, and I knew what He wanted me to do. He wanted me to go to bed. He TOLD me, “GO TO BED!”. I was out of control in my consumption of Netflix, YouTube, and Instagram. I’d dived deep into work, work, work, trying to satisfy my mantra of “girl you got this”. I was typing out an email to my boss that was better suited as a prayer to THE BOSS! I knew that the WiFi was a chance to discipline myself; to gain control of my physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
So I went on upstairs and decided to read for a little while to help me settle in, then I wrote in my journal for a bit, trying not to wake my poor husband who had to be up for work at 4 am. After about 30 min, I thought, surely the WiFi is back by now, and instead of going to sleep, I headed back downstairs to do what I set out to do all along, regardless of what the Spirit told me to do or what I had prayed for.
I mean, I had asked for discipline just that morning, hadn’t I? But guess what, I didn’t listen. Just like the Israelites, I could not let this need to consume go. I went back downstairs to discover that the WiFi was still not on. I checked the router, I checked the modem; all of the things my husband would do in this situation. Still nothing. There was nothing left to do, but to obey, and go to bed. But instead, I opened my journal and began reading from some random page. Here is what I'd written over a year prior,
“I need to be more disciplined…”
Wow! It occurred to me that I’d been dealing with problems on and off for a long time. I recognized just how patient and loving the Spirit has been to me. Even in my disobedience, He just keeps prompting me to turn away from my prideful arrogance and submit to what God is telling me.
He’d shut down the WiFi, He’d showed me the scripture, and He’d even reminded me of what I’d asked for a year ago. Now, He’d given me an opportunity to obey. An opportunity to be a disciple. An opportunity to rest. And with that realization, I shut my eyes and had the best sleep I'd had in a very long time.
Now it's November 2021. And things have changed for me. I actually go to bed around 10:30 pm!! God is really working on me. Thank you, Father.