Friar Don Miller. OFM
I am a Franciscan priest. I spent my early years of ministry in New Mexico working among the Pueblo Native Americans and the Hispanics. In 1978 I began my years in academics working as a chaplain, faculty member, and administrator at various universities in the southwest and the midwest. I taught various course in theology, especially in my area of specialty which is moral theology. I have been the Vocation Director for the Province of Saint John the Baptist since 2003.
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A Meditation on Frustration--there was no email

Mcj040426300001_1Saturday morning I was busy doing laundry and preparing for a quick flight to Boston to visit a prospective. I decided not to take my laptop with me for this short absence, but I did try to check my email Saturday evening at the motel office. I was a little surprised that there was no new email--something that seldom happens on either my personal or my office account.

Sunday evening, after my return, I turned on my computer to discover that I still had no email. Then I ran a quick check to see what was up and discovered that THE EMAIL SYSTEM WAS DOWN. There was no email to be had. I quickly called the friar who oversees our system and he said that there had been a problem reported as early as Friday, but it would be addressed Monday.

Monday morning I returned to my office with the usual expectation that I would spend the first two to three hours working with email messages, but there were none. Being Columbus Day, I couldn't look forward to snail mail either. Wow, what a feeling of being disconnected from the world. What to do? Well, my budget for 2007 is due on the 15th, so I calculated that and printed it for the provincial office. I am traveling next week to Georgia and Florida, so I printed maps and double checked my itinerary. By now it was noon and there was still no word on the email situation.

Monday afternoon I went to St. Clement Friary here in town to make a presentation at the friary monthly Day of Recollection. I was also scheduled to make a presentation to some young adults Monday evening, so I reviewed my ideas for that. Still no email and the word came that we couldn't expect any until at least Tuesday morning.

While talking with a friend via telephone I joked about my "primitive" existence of living incommunicado with the world. The two of us laughed about just how dependent we have become on technology. I found it rather embarrassing and yet a good time to rethink some priorities. Looking back on the weekend and the day, I realized that the Lord had been very good to me. My frustration stemmed from the fact that I couldn't do what I wanted to do. I wasn't in control of my day. And I said a prayer of thanksgiving for the insight into my silliness and into God's patience with us humans who think we run our own lives.

By the way, the email came back up on Tuesday afternoon. I got swamped with all of the missed emails--and it felt good to be back into my usual routine of communicating via the net.


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