Kelly J. Stigliano

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. - Proverbs 12:25


A Cut Above
Christian Communicator Magazine

“Stupid internet is out again,” I grumbled. Rocco looked up at me with all the concern a family dog could offer. He sighed and put his head back down on his feet.

“Humpf. You must work for the DSL company!”

How was I supposed to get my work done without the internet? I had research to do and Bible verses to verify. I had an assignment due and another deadline to meet.

When my spell check lets me down, I typically key my butchered version into the internet search engine and get the correct spelling instantaneously.

I tried three spellings of a word I was struggling with – nothing. Looking at the shelf above my computer I saw a large, familiar blue and red book. I grabbed the Webster’s dictionary and blew the dust off in a little cloud. Giggling, I was amazed at how heavy it was. Had my arms grown weaker as my internet dependence had grown stronger?

“A real dictionary,” I mused. “Imagine that.”

Within seconds I found the correcting spelling. “That wasn’t too bad.”

Rocco just sighed. He was used to me babbling throughout the day. He’d long since given up the desire to know if I was addressing him or not.

I continued writing. “I’ve used that word too many times.” My computer thesaurus didn’t offer me what I was looking for. Again, looking up, I spotted Rodale’s Synonym Finder.

Thumbing through the yellowed pages I realized that I’d not used the book in . . . in . . . years! “So? I’m not Wilma Flintstone,” I rationalized.

Needing some Bible verses, I instinctively tried to pull up Bible Gateway. Oh, I forgot.

My dusty bookshelf held another gem. The Zondervan’s Comparative Study Bible that I’d gotten for Christmas years ago had four versions inside. As I sat with all four in front of me, my eyes quickly swept from one to another.

This is really sweet, I pondered. I’d forgotten the feel of a Bible on my lap as I researched verses. “I love this!”

I wanted to reference a few old hymns. “Hmmm. Where did those old hymnals go, Rocco?” I found three of them stacked in a decorative display in the living room. My books had become ornamental relics. How sad.

I found what I needed in the hymn books and casually leafed through the pages, remembering singing the songs in church, before overhead screens became permanent fixtures in sanctuaries.

Within two and a half hours I had completed the first draft of one article and the second draft of another. Then it hit me. I’d accomplished more in just over two hours than I would normally have all morning. “How did that happen?”

I pushed my chair away from the desk, spun it around and relaxed into the high back. Staring at Rocco I silently rehearsed my morning.

I’d stopped writing to make a cup of tea. While making the tea I had gone through my coupons, re-written my shopping list, ate a yogurt, held the empty container while Rocco licked it clean, used the restroom, greeted the exterminator at the front door, opened the side gate for him to perform his quarterly killing treatment, locked the gate after he left, updated my Day-Timer, sang a few old songs, refilled the toilet paper in both bathrooms, used the restroom again, and held these heavy books that were collecting dust on my shelf.     

“Imagine that, Rocco, my little dinosaur!”

I’ll bet Wilma Flintstone was an incredibly productive woman! She didn’t have the internet for research, but she also didn’t have the distraction of e-mail, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, an endless supply of articles and blogs that required immediate reading, or an on-line Bible that could take her from trunk to branch tip of study as the clock ticked away.

“What next, Dino? I guess I’ll get back to that manuscript I’ve been working on. Yubba-dubba-do!”

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