Well, I can't say this one was as easy as last week. But, I have grown used to my reflexive nature and merely dismissed ideas and desires as they cropped up. In the afternoon I spent a bit of time thinking about what I have learned in this experiment.
1-Living in the moment is scary
It is more comfortable to make plans and create schedules hoping that each thing comes together than to sit with a sense of disappointment in one's self-my lack of domestication (read-not fond of cleaning and cooking), or feel insecure (do they really like me, if they truly knew me would they still like me?), or downright fear (how are we going to pay for this, how can I repair this relationship?) Instead, just plan something in the future and my sense of competence is restored. God will probably be in my future as he was in my past, but why do I snub my nose at him in the present? And how can I be used by him if I am unwilling to be present with him?
2-Boredom is bad
I did not miss those technological gadgets when I was actively participating in the moment, be that by hearing a 5th step or playing with kids or grooming the dogs...or maybe it is because these things brought purpose and joy. When I am bored, without purpose, I am uncertain what to do and often choose whatever is near to help. I am not a fan of the movement, but a purpose driven life is desirable over the coach potato rut.
3-I do not pray or pay attention to God enough.
God doesn't need my attention, but our relationship does. The beginning of this exercise was awkward, but by the end of the month I was looking forward to a day without the usual tugs of the outside world where I could try to focus on God. I struggled, and I didn't get to the place I wanted. I thought I prayed a little a lot and that was ok, but I am not so confident anymore. I want to pray more. I want to hang out with him more. Sure, I don't have the luxury of a cloistered community to encourage me to pray, but I have the opportunity of seeing God at work in the world around me and participating in that work-how could I not pray? I do not have this great devotional life many do. I hate journaling. I hate getting up early in the morning. So, maybe that isn't my exact path, but I do realize it is something I want now.
I have probably learned much more. Like keep practicing even when you feel like a failure. Like take it one moment at a time. Like how vulnerable I feel without my phone and my computer. And like how amazingly beautiful that one "good" day feels, only to be followed by one that keeps me humble.
Haven't gotten to talk to my friend about his journey. Not even sure he kept up his part on this. But I don't really care. It has been an adventure for me.