I feel guilty. I feel ashamed. I feel embarrassed.
I also know that I have been attending to things that were, perhaps, more important than my blog.
God has put on my heart numerous times the fact that I have worshiped the online world. And I'm not talking about Facebook or some no-brainer web site...I'm talking about spending hours and hours reading amazing faith-filled blogs, connecting with amazing online sisters-in-Christ, researching faith-related questions, listening to Christian music, adding to my Guinness Book of World Records-Big-Christian library...
these are all good things, right?
"When one is thirsty one quenches one's thirst by drinking, not by reading books which treat of this condition" ~ Jean Pierre de Caussade
and Ann Voskamp, in "One Thousand Gifts," continues, saying,
If we are dying of thirst, passively reading books about water quenches little;
the only way to quench the parched mouth is to close the book
and dip the hand into water and bring it to the lips.
If we thirst, we'll have to drink.
I would have to do something.
It took a few times of being knocked on the side of the head for me to get it, but I was idolizing my desire to learn more - but not through spending time with God or reading Scripture, but by being the academic and reading those beautifully-written, what-I-term "Christian living" books and soaking up those authors' knowledge about the Christian life because...come on...I like to hear a woman a bit older than me telling me about her troubled past and how God redeemed it.
We like success stories.
We like stories in which we can relate.
Mary is a success story. Paul, too, don't you think? A nobody becoming a Somebody. In fact...isn't that what God's Kingdom is all about? It is our world that is so upside-down. God yearns to make us nobodies into Somebodies.
So many people in the Bible struggled. I can relate to so many of them - they were all sinners, just like me. Why wasn't I reading the Bible for the relateable stories?
I feel God silenced me in some ways. Every time I wanted to write a blog entry, something interfered - a child needing something, Husband needing something, work, other hobbies, whatever it was, something in the past month always got in the way of me sitting down here and writing.
I realized, after years of grumpy and sometimes anger-exploding-mornings, that I need to sit and pray before I start the day.
I realized, after hearing the message over and over from different sources, unknown to the other, that I needed to seek God's wisdom about important things going on in my life...
and I needed to take a break from the internet. I needed to take a break from my Christian blog-perusing, even my own blog-writing.
Then came the day (ironically, after a Christmas gift card was used on Amazon to buy fabulous Christian books) when I felt God say to me to put down every single book except for the Bible for one week.
And I did.
I'd like to say that an epiphany came and I spent time seeped in God's Word every day for hours and have notebooks and notebooks of journaling to show for it. I'd like to say that I feel that peace which surpasses all understanding. I'd at least like to say that I feel better.
But I can't say that. Because I don't feel better.
My health problems worsen, marriage strain still exists, chaotic children drama still occurs daily.
And, what is worse than that, to me: I barely even got into God's Word this week.
I did, however, put down all other books.
It is taking a great deal of courage to type all this down. For so long I've wanted this blog to be a place of wisdom and safety. A place where people could come and read and feel comforted and possibly even ministered to (read the newer About Me).
But, somehow, I got it in my ego-driven little head that I had to "write pretty." Oh, I could ask the hard questions all right. And I often do ask the hard questions. But I knew that was a good thing to do. We should all be asking the hard questions, right?
But when it came down to doing the hard thing...
what was it I learned that weekend away?...
the real meaning of eucharisteo....
and I stumbled upon, while link-jumping, this old blog entry of mine...
which just about blew my mind...
and I realized that I wasn't doing what I wrote about. I was doing a lot of reading, thinking, writing, talking...but I wasn't doing.
I wasn't obeying; I wasn't truly listening for God's wisdom; I wasn't truly sitting in God's Presence.
I only truly wrote about it.
So as I sit here now, I feel a bit better about my blog objectives. I know I can't just write pretty anymore. If I am going to be any kind of friend, much less a mentor or disciple, I have to get down on my hands and knees and get honest with God.
God, I am sorry that I have walked the walk but did not fully engage the way You want. I am sorry that I made other things into idols: internet, books, music, church activities. Yes, even these very "godly" things can become dangerous idols if depended upon too much. And so, Lord, I seek Your forgiveness and ask for Your wisdom and guidance as I step into the knowledge that I need to read Your Word more. I ask for Your blessing and help in fighting off the enemy - both my own apathy and the real enemy that seeks to kill and destroy. I ask You to direct my footsteps, now and always. Amen.
And so, with some heart-pounding, I joined Ann Voskamp's community over at ScriptureTyper.
It is called "The Romans Project" and you can click that link as well as this one from Ann's blog describing why she decided to do this. And you can also click on the badge to the right and be connected to the community to which I have made myself accountable. I just signed up and perused it. I am overwhelmed.
I used to be so good at memorization, but in early college I had a dreadful, traumatic experience in my theatre class and because of that mess (which included my brain blanking on the script during a testing performance) I walked away from the stage and from any and all confidence in my memorization ability. So I came to this project with clammy hands, afraid to fail myself...but more afraid to fail God.
But in my stumbling and falling, lately and always, I do know that God would rather me try and fail than not try at all. He'd rather me try to dig into His Word than keep that Bible closed. And who knows...if I stop leaning on my own understanding...who knows what things I could accomplish?
So I invite you. You who are flawed and messy. You who spend too much time watching mindless television because you feel too depressed to get off the couch. You who are a closet-theologian and think that you know just about all you need to know. You who doubt your own ability to get anything right. I invite all of you. Let's take this challenge to memorize God's Word. It is one of the most important things we can do.
Ann Voskamp writes,
"God gives us time. And who has time for God?" (p64, "One Thousand Gifts")
Let's make time for God. I think it is the one habit He would have us do. Don't you?