Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Simplicity and Fasting

Today is "Shrove Tuesday" (yes, we're going to a pancake supper!) and tomorrow is "Ash Wednesday" and the beginning of Lent. So the following journal entry I wrote on January 8 (a month or so ago) is appropriate, I think.

My Christmas break wasn't quite the "fun holiday" I was hoping for. We had unusually cold weather, and my old slipped disc injury resurrected itself and I spent a good part of the break in big-time pain. And nobody even wanted to play Scrabble with me (sad, eh!).

But what I'm really thinking about is that I'm having a hard time spiritually. Yesterday at our home church gathering we discussed fasting (we've been studying the Spiritual Disciplines). Traditionally, of course, we think of fasting from food, but in my case, I'm seriously thinking about fasting from electronics. It would be hard. I feel so "hungry" if I'm not turning on the radio (when I wake up during the night, or driving in the car, or whenever) or checking email or Facebook or news on the computer. I don't turn on the TV myself (I don't know how to use the remote and the Xbox controller--on purpose; and we only have Netflix, not cable TV), but hubby loves it and turns it on frequently. If I'm doing something focused (tutoring, editing, writing) I can mostly ignore it, but as soon as I'm done whatever I've been focused on, I get so drawn in to the TV, especially programs about forensics or detective programs--and sci-fi, too. Yesterday was Sunday and could have been a restful time with You, but I ended up watching episode after episode of CSI New York. I also did a bit of email and Facebook (which I always promise myself I won't do on Sundays, but more often than not give in to at least a bit).

On another note, I've had an opportunity to join a "Mastermind" book writers' group, but honestly, while I do want to dedicate time to something (other than my business and family time), writing a book is not it. I do think I want to write, but I don't know what topic. I do want to do something focused on You (whether or not that includes writing, I don't know).

And I'm not sure what "writing Christianly" might mean; what You might want me to write about? Even "tutoring Christianly" or whatever else I might focus on doing "Christianly"?

Lord, I long for freshness and joy and peace (and some measure of happiness) in You. But I feel, more and more, my helplessness--and loneliness for other believers.

I do want to draw closer to You. I do want an assured firm knowledge of You and sense of Your Presence. And yes, I do want to know the joy of Your salvation.

Yesterday, when we talked about fasting, I longed to go deeper. And I am willing to fast (including from food. I do want to eat more healthy--fresh fruit and veggies, etc.) and to exercise and to majorly declutter my life in so many ways. (That was my big "plan" for the holidays: declutter. Ha! Constant pain interfered in a big way...).

I'm feeling overwhelmed by "clutter" -- even in my tutoring/editing/writing office. So many supplies I truly don't need or want.

My life feels cluttered.

I want simplicity: "the arrangement of life around a few consistent purposes, explicitly excluding what is not necessary to human well-being." (Willard).

Fasting seems like a good way to approach simplicity (with You). Please guide me into what You would have me do. Thank you.

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