It wasn't really by design, but the last time I was in Atlanta, I found that I had some problems getting my e-mail on my fancy smart phone. Likewise, on this occasion when I spent a few days in "The City Too Busy To Hate", my "missing" status this week evolved into a few days of real time with my family. As far as being away went, other than a boneheaded move in leaving my wife's laptop unattended on top of luggage (while my 3-year-old daughter lurked nearby- things didn't end well), it was a beautiful weekend with my wife and children. The weather in Atlanta was amazing, the hotel and staff excellent, and best of all, the smart phone silent.
Interestingly enough, the homilist at Mass on Sunday reflected on the same thing: Even Jesus needed a break. You know the story: Jesus asks His entourage to go ahead after a hard day's work and prepare a place away from the huddled masses where He could rest, only to find someone leaked the plan and when Jesus arrived, there were plenty there waiting. Of course, Jesus goes on to have pity on these "sheep without a shepherd" and goes back to work.
While I'm certainly not even in the slightest comparing my situation to Jesus' situation, the point is that even the most important people in the world need to step away from time to time, so really, who am I to believe that the world will come apart if I shut off the phone for a while?
There's a certain amount of imbalance in our lives, especially for those of you who like me, are always picking up a new thing they want to share and work with. The problem is that in our doing so, we forget that we need an opportunity to recharge and step back for a while. If anything, you can chalk it up to needing fresh perspective.
So you'll have to accept my apology when I keep this one short, as my daughter wants me to teach her how to make fried chicken. After that, I'll check the e-mail.