When the Lights Go Out

power outageImage by Brenda Anderson via Flickr
(This was written last night, near the beginning of a 4.5 hour power outage.)

It's quiet when the lights goes out at night.  It's not just lights, of course, it's everything electric.

It's very quiet.

There's not a hum.

There's not a buzz.

I close my eyes and try to make out the various sounds I do hear.  There's the "tick" of the one clock whose time won't have to be reset.  There's the "click" of the gas fireplace going on and off.  There's the cough of one of our girls upstairs.  The dog shakes and I hear the tags rattle on his collar.

Beyond that, it's quiet.

While everyone else has gone to bed, I've opted to stay up, at least for a little bit.  In the quiet I've been able to get some work done.  The worship bulletin is ready to copy.  The first sermon draft is complete.  And I'm working on this blog post.

May as well be productive in the dark.

I've stayed up in the hope that this is a short outage.  Then I'll be able to make sure the lights are off when the power goes back on and, perhaps, make sure that alarms are set for tomorrow morning.  As of now, everything hinges upon one cell phone alarm.  With seven people to get up at various times and move on out of the house, that doesn't seem like enough alarm clock power. 

And so I wait.

We lose power pretty often in our neck of the woods.  I wish it happened a whole lot less frequently than it does.  I get tired of setting clock after clock after clock when power is restored.  I remember, shortly after moving here 12 years ago, back when the outages were more frequent, how one church member who only came down on weekends said that he took expected to set every clock in their place every Friday.

I'm sure that this latest outage has to do with the snowfall we've had today.  It's probably pulling down some power line somewhere.  But it's dark up and down the road.  The lights are out.

One of the interesting things about losing power is finding all of the various things you've left on when the power comes back. We live in a very connected age and we have so many things plugged in at all times that having the VCR, the Microwave, the Stove, the Computer, the Chargers, the Stereo all click on at the same time is kind of a sensory overload.  Add to this the blinding light of of the overhead lights and it's amazing we're able to function at all with no power.

Perhaps the power outage can serve as a sort of wake up call, reminding us of our "plugged-in" lives and the importance of "unplugging" and remembering the One who gives us real power.

Then again, I'm looking forward to getting plugged in as soon as I can.

Enhanced by Zemanta