|Photo: Toni Campbell|
Lent – a time of releasing, giving up. I read a posting on Facebook that challenged the readers to give up their “gadgets and technology” from sundown one day to sundown the next (sort of like a technology Sabbath). Giving up my internet, my iPad, and (gasp, she breaks out in a cold sweat as she writes this) my (dare she actually put it in print) attached-at-the-umbilical-cord smart phone?” Seriously? How will I live, breath, manage????? I shake just visualizing this barren wasteland of unplugged!
This also got me to thinking (a dangerous endeavor)… how can I go about giving up not simply the toys/tools of my life, but the underlying disease for which I use these implements of distraction… yes, I’m going there. BUSY-NESS. How do I give up, release, let go of this lifestyle that is wearing me down, stealing my joy, and probably killing me softly?
Fully admitting it is my own hand which feeds this ever-hungering monster that I call my daily calendar, am I at a point where I can even stop? Am I addicted to busyness? To the maddening pace of rushing like a crazy woman from job to school, meeting to gym, office to client, lunch/dinner with friend to church activities? Is living in such a manner that I am perpetually frazzled, frayed, tense and tired – and barely ever feeling 100% -- giving any glory to God, giving my best to my beloved husband, treasured family and friends, and all my varied responsibilities and positions? Barely making deadlines, being so worn out that procrastination becomes my only guilt-ridden method of stopping, falling into bed only to fight through a night of classic stress-related, Technicolor, detail-crammed dreams where I find myself always late, lost or frantically not ready… I say I don’t want to live this way, and yet every call, appointment, and commitment is one I have chosen to add, selected to feed the beast of “just one more thing.” I have struggled for years with this disease. How often have I joked that my life is like a hamster wheel, and someone has fed my hamster crack!
Dear God, I crave YOU. I am hungry and thirsty for your peace… I want so much to stop the thought fest in my brain long enough to pray, really pray and hear You. I confess I have no idea how to be still before You in order to know You. Yes, I read my one-minute daily devotional and listen to sermons on the radio and podcast, pray during my commute, catch a quick video on the internet and hear the Sunday sermons... but we both know that has nothing to do with spending quiet time just with You, reading Your word, just being still.
Be still, cease striving, the Hebrew word says to sink, relax, let drop, abandon, refrain, forsake.
Okay… I am clueless, Papa. But I come before You and ask Your help because I do want to cease striving, drop everything at Your feet, forsake all else in order to gain You. And yes, I am warped enough in my sick little brain to think, “Uh-oh, is He going to put me in a coma or break my leg so I will stop?” Not that I would be surprised, because I realize in my rebellious heart sometimes You have had to take unusual measures to get my attention. But as the Michael Smith hymn goes, I am desperate for You. So take my iPhone, my tablet, my Google calendars, my multiple email address, blogs, my shattered and multi-tasked, wrung-up self and my 24/7s. Teach me how to live each moment as You would have me live. I pray for the eyes, wisdom and discernment to choose not the easy good-from-bad but the best from the good. Whether this is a season of activity or a season of rest, help me live it so I know it is on Your time frame, and not my own.
Instead of constantly looking at the clock, let me instead rest my gaze on the Cross.