Do you remember using ‘dial-up’ to access the internet? If you do you are showing your age! You recall it was listening to the computer make some funny noises as the number was dialled then having to wait several minutes (usually) as the document or file downloaded. If all was well you were rewarded with the miracle of communication but time and again you received an ‘error’ message and you would have to go through the whole rigmarole again. That was 20 – 25 something years ago. Then we had the Information Highway and ASDL. Now we have Broadband that makes use of ‘streaming’, video communication, WhatsApp and instant messaging. We live in an age of instant everything – instant credit, instant news, instant coffee, instant messages, instant gratification and so on and so on. What has happened to patience and saving up for something?
Here at the Mill we have longed for a faster internet connection. Even when Broadband came we could still only get 0.5 / 0.7 Mgbytes a second via BT. And that was the case until 3 or 4 months ago. Then I was able to use a mobile phone as a ‘hotspot’ which managed a respectable 8 to 10 Mgbytes and last week it was a case of ‘Bingo’. Using the same mobile system but with an outside aerial we have got up to 32 Mgbytes – that is half as much again than the national average!!! And that is also cheaper than BT. Patience and Persistence have their rewards after all.
Turning more serious though, December is a time of contrasts and extremes. As Christmas appears on the horizon expectations mount. For some it is a time of growing excitement and anticipation. Family traditions are put into effect and nostalgia rules ok. For others it is a time of dread and loneliness when memories are painful and the world looks dark and unforgiving. We have Clients of both types here at the Mill and it grieves me that some of the joy of one kind cannot be there to help the other kind be lifted in Spirit. But that is Life with all of its highs and lows. Please be mindful of the spectrum of experience and try to respect others’ needs as well as your own, and may the Spirit of Christmas be more than food, films and presents but include prayer, awareness and sharing.
Have a good month, a Joyous Christmas and see you in the New Year.