february 26th, 2012 – sabbath

when i was in california, i had a sunday afternoon tradition. after {or sometimes in place of} church, i would go to starbucks with my computer and Bible, i’d order a caramel iced coffee with milk and i’d read/write/free refill sometimes until the store closed. sundays were a day of complete rest and relaxation, with nowhere to go and nothing really to do.

so today, for the first time since returning home in may, i have found myself at starbucks, shivering and drinking a caramel iced coffee with milk, and writing.

it feels so good to be doing nothing, because i’ve been doing so much running. i’ve been going from point A immediately to point B to C and D, E and F… and i’m starting to get sick and tired. not of anything, but just sick and tired.

but it’s Lent. and Lent is a period of fasting. and fasting is stopping. so i am stopping the running, stopping the excessive busyness. i am just sitting at starbucks and thinking and just being.

did you know that the observing of Lent comes with a weekly reading plan? it does! every sunday, there is an element of Christ’s ministry to study and reflect on. and today’s is about Christ in the desert.

in high school my friend randy told me something his youth pastor said, and it’s stuck with  me:

if satan can’t tempt you, he’ll make you busy.

wow. because really, when i’m busy, what are the first things that go? time with God. prayer. meditating on him. i exchange on-my-knees time for in-the-car time, and if i hear a bible verse on the christian radio station, i tell myself i’ve encountered Scripture and therefore i’m alright. i substitute being around God for being with God.

donald miller {WHO I MET THIS PAST WEEK ABSOLUTELY NO BIG DEAL BUT MORE ON THAT LATER} once wrote,

“It occurs to me it is not so much the aim of the devil to lure me with evil as it is to preoccupy me with the meaningless. ”

time is important and valuable and expires at a rate of every single second. and satan does a fantastic job at convincing me that any second spent alone or not with someone or going somewhere is a waste of a second. but God says to rest. God rested, not because he needed to but because he knew i would need to and he wanted me to know that i could see it as a way to commune with God, to rejoice in my like-him-ness.

and i forgot how great this feels, to look around at the ceiling and the walls and the bags of coffee, and asking God to reveal himself to me in it all, to provide and heal and comfort me as i sit and essentially do nothing. asking him to prove to me that i don’t have to DO anything for the Spirit to restore me and refresh me.

isn’t Lent about countering what donald miller suggested? isn’t it about giving up the meaningless?

i gave up facebook. but for the first time in my lent practices, i’m celebrating feast days by responding to facebook messages, because there are plenty of meaningful things that quickly become meaningless when they become excessive.

but i really am shivering.

1 Comment

  1. March 6, 2012 / 1:19 pm

    love it! thanks for posting this truth. it’s something that i have struggled with all my life but i find that if i devote more time to God he devotes more time to me and makes a way through whatever i am dealing with.

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