I gave up reading blogs for lent. Not all blogs, just about 3/4 of the ones I had subscribed to for various reasons. I really thought it would be a hard challenge, but I’m finding that it’s actually been really freeing. One of my biggest struggles-frustrations in the past year is my inability to focus and retain anything. I jokingly offer it up to being older and a mother, but I am realizing it’s because of the enormous amount of information I have been putting in my head.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that blogs and the world of the internet and facebook are great. There is something awesome about all of us having the freedom to share our talents of decorating, cooking, homemaking, schooling etc. But for me, I found myself spending so much time reading about others and what they were doing that I wasn’t. In many ways, my creativity was being stifled by others.
I believe my struggles with fear and anxiety have stemmed from spending too much time filling my life up with some sort of distraction instead of emptying myself to see how God fills it. Beth Moore relates that “we have to be emptied in order to be filled.” I’ve long thought that emptying could only come through tough and trying times, but I am realizing it can come from simply acknowledging that we’ve been filling ourselves with an overload of information…that isn’t Him.
When life is all about me, I am blinded from the reality of my complete dependence upon my Creator. The noise of arrogance and anxiety deafens the call to lean on the everlasting arms.
This lent I have started the process of emptying myself of all the things I have filled myself up with. It’s only been less than 2 weeks, but I can feel such a release. I read this prayer by Bonhoeffer this week:
I cannot do this alone.
O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray
And to concentrate my thoughts on you;
I cannot do this alone.
In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart; but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways
But you know the way for me…
Restore me to liberty,
And enable me to live now
That I may answer before you and before men.
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised.