I (Rene) just spent two hours in a chat session with a Google customer service rep trying to get a Google Home Mini device to work. The type of device you talk to and it does your bidding. We received the Mini as a gift so I thought we would use it to bring our home technology up a notch. It came with a “smart light bulb”. Gloria and I are debating where to put the “smart” light bulb. I’m not convinced it’s going to be easier to tell Google to turn on the light or to just turn on the light the old-fashioned way with our fingers pressing the switch.
We’re under the impression that technology provides a shortcut to an easier life and sometimes it does – writing our books on a computer is easier than writing them on a typewriter! Coincidentally, the subject of our books, marital intimacy, has no shortcut. There’s no app that will help build intimacy in marriage like a microwave oven. Marital intimacy takes a lifetime of effort, patience, love, and prayer.
We’ve Come a Long Way
We’ve come a long way as they say. Our fathers would get up early in the morning and consume a hearty breakfast before they milked the cows. They would work the rest of the day tending sheep, cultivating fields, repairing equipment and a myriad of other chores. The wives would work hard in the barns, fields, gardens, and kitchens keeping the family clothed and fed. The family would clean up before dinner, eat dinner around a dining room table, then sit around the wood stove reading their Bibles often by kerosene lamps after dinner. They would converse about the next day and perhaps future dreams. The would read a story to the children, probably from the Bible, and send them off to bed before the parents retired for the night. More often than not, for the parents, the primary comfort of the day would be in the marriage bed entangled in each other’s arms before drifting off into a satisfying sleep.
The Rhythm of Life
They would get up the next day and repeat. There were no days off except Sunday when they would gather the children together into the old pickup and head off to church to sing praise to Jesus their Savior who provided them with eternal life forever and an abundant life now. The rhythm of life gave them a purpose and sustained them in times of trouble. They pondered the birth-death-birth cycle of life and they hoped in a rebirth of their own one day in heaven where there would be no more toil, tears, pain, or sadness.
Romanticized? Perhaps but not too long ago I experienced this farming rhythm each summer as us city folk would go the Northern Vermont and help with the haying on my uncle’s farm. Reggie and Germain Beliveau lived this life and I don’t think I ever saw a happier couple. They knew the value of hard work, strong faith, and patient love. Their 11 children received the benefits of life on the farm.
We have come a long way. We do not romanticize the hard scrabble life on a Northern Vermont farm in the 1950’s – think a very short growing season – but on the other hand there’s something to be said for a life with hands in the dirt and hearts toward heaven.
Now if we can just get this Google Home Mini to turn on our light bulb!
Blessings – Rene and Gloria