When Fast is Slow

I’m back from mountains and my week with 1992 media. (I am still doing Summer of 7 , fasting from 7 areas of excess based on Jen Hatmaker’s crazy, funny book 7. The most recent area was MEDIA. GAG!)

A week without media caused me to forgot how to write a blogpost, so this will just be a choppy random blur of thoughts.

FIRST: Here is how I cheated while living with pseudo 1992 technology for 7 days. (BTW, while in the mountains, we live in an RV camper on a river. It is cheater camping for people with small children. Also, the internet is spotty at best, so this was part of my cheat.)

  • I did not use a computer, blog, or Facebook.
  • I only scrolled through my e-mail on the phone to see if there were any emergencies, but I did not open them.  EXCEPT, I DID read every single e-mail or blogpost from my friend who is 25 weeks pregnant with quintuplets because that is crucial and time-sensitive.
  • I only texted our friends who were joining us on vacation.
  • I did not watch DVD movies, except for overhearing the ones that my kids watched.
  • I DID take some digital pictures because I don’t have a film camera anymore. I also took pictures on my phone, but I did not insta-flare them. :)
  • I did not look on the internet or listen to Pandora.  EXCEPT, I DID look up how to save my husband’s iPhone after he jumped into the campground pool to save our drowning daughter. (Not only has she survived, but rice and silica gel saved his iPhone.)

THE REALITY: Here is how it felt.

During days one and two, I felt weird, twitchy, and lost. I couldn’t quite recall how to do things, like make spaghetti sauce or drive to waterfalls.

Don’t you have to confirm those sorts of decisions with Google?

During days three and four, I felt my brain start to wake up to some old memories.  It was like my eyes un-dilated, focused, and stopped quavering for screens.

I wrote in cursive.

I saw some otters in the river.

I read a novel about time travel.  Did you know that I’m OBSESSED with time travel? Did you know that I love to READ?

I crocheted a pink baby blanket for my friend who just had her first baby.

I wrote some of the Bible study that I’ve been saying I would write for three years. I also worked on my novel. I wrote it in a composition notebook with my fingers holding a pen, twirling the ink into a perfectly ribbony thin scrawling line.

CONCLUSION:

The media fast caused me to see my restlessness AND my need for true REST.

  • I am me when I’m ALL alone, sitting by a river in the middle of the mountains. I am me, created by God, fully loved, without makeup, technology, real food, fans, followers, readers, comments, or likes.  I am not and should not allow myself to be deceived into thinking that my identity or worth are comprised of the glowing blue thumbs shining at me from a screen.
  • While I SAY that I write to glorify God, it is tricky to maintain that when I am so strongly motivated by praise, criticism, and comments. It made me wonder, do I follow HIM or do I follow YOU?
  •  I have three followers. Two of them can’t read or write. I want them to see more of my eyes than the back of my head. If I tell them that there is more to life than “screens,” I should do a better job of modeling that.
  • This media fast made me slow down, and frankly more than any of the other fasts, it made me realize how FULL my life is of . . . . .  um . . . . . unrest, striving, and discontent.  That was pretty worrisome, seeing as how I blog about contentment.

NOW WHAT:

Ironically, the Bible study I’m writing is about rest, restlessness, and our faith.  BUT we pack our lives SO FULL that we cannot breathe.  I’m starting to realize that what Psalm 23 says might have more nuance than I’ve previously realized. (emphasis is mine.)

Psalm 23:2

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.

HE HAS TO MAKE ME LIE DOWN!! Am I restless, burned out, overbusy and tired because I won’t lie down, be led, or be still when I’m staring at a screen, clicking like an addict, and frantically self-agrrandizing my way to insanity?

While I give lip-service to the idea of margin and rest in my life, I am very reluctant to allow empty time or space in my life.

Yet in spite of my hesitation to be slow, these Summer of 7 fasts have confirmed for me how faithful the Lord is to speak–even in the pinprick sized spaces I’ve made for him during these Fasts.  He’s taken these fasts and created a slowness, a peace, a quiet, and a rest. A space to listen. A space to breathe.

Now, I won’t lie. Some of what he’s saying is pretty uncomfy, but He’s managing to take my willingness and reward it. Here are two great passages that you should take a second to read.

Psalm 46:10

Psalm 62

Okay, here’s a little question for you. Your answers will really help me as I do research for my Bible study.

What areas of your life bring you REST or RESTLESSNESS?

I’m linking this post up to the Summer of 7 Media Bloghop.

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9 Responses to When Fast is Slow

  1. Alison July 26, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    The things that bring me the most rest are actually those things that I can easily push aside (playing piano, reading, writing, gardening, exercising, being outside, a number of these include talking or listening to God, playing with my kids) to take on those things that make me restless (mostly involving the Internet, Facebook, and those lists in my head of what I “should” be doing that I’m not.) Isn’t it ironic that it seems we have to fight to preserve our places of rest?
    Alison recently posted…Plugging the DamMy Profile

  2. Dale July 27, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    Thanks for the great post and the psalms especially 62. I have verse 10 and 11 hi-lighted and starred in my bible. Whats brings me rest is being in the word of God, preparing bible studies, exercise, reading, spending time with Mari, puzzles, walking the dog, and making a difference in peoples lives. What makes me restless is not having time to do everything I want to do, running out of time to accomplish what I hope for, striving for some unknown and perhaps unreachable goal of success or acomplishment. Time travel fascinates me too. Traveling at the speed of light would cause one to always be in the present moment. Time would not exist at all. I sometimes wonder if that is why God is so often referred to as “light”.
    I am reminded of God’s call in Hebrews about the sabbath rest for his people and how it is available to us. Thanks for the reminder to “rest”.

    dale

  3. Amy in Wanderland July 27, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    Okay, that burned and felt good at the same time. Dangit. Awesome words.
    Amy in Wanderland recently posted…The trouble with ugly artMy Profile

  4. Beth July 27, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Katrina. You’ve done it again. Opened up my world and left me bare before the piercing gaze of reality. Stripped away what I THINK I am, to reveal what I REALLY am. I like to think of you and your blog as the scalpel God is using in my life.

    All the things I feel are so necessary (all of my Internet activities like looking at Pinterest and instagram 100 times each every day) are really time-stealers that foster discontent, covetousness, and a sense of being “less” than everyone else.

    I 100% agree with your first commenter when she said that the most restful (in my words “fulfilling”) things in life are those most easily neglected. I farm. I have a lovely property. I have a spectacular sunset view. Yet it is rare that I take time to really immerse myself in these things. I am too immersed in other people’s worlds via this little 2″X4″ device that is supposed to be a phone, but really has become a taskmaster.

    It’s strange how easy it is to go languidly along with the flow of our culture feeling like we’re enjoying our lives only to suddenly awaken as the dark undertow of die-hard habits. The FIRST thing I did this morning was pick up this phone. FIRST. Not use the restroom. Not kiss my family. Not think Godward thoughts, let alone read His word or pray. No…the FIRST thing I did was pick it up and start my round of check-ins. The LAST thing I did last night…long after I should have been sleeping (so I could be rested and productive today) was lay down this ball and chain after I checked-in on every site I follow.

    Well. I am awake now. Thank you again…I have never met you, but God is using you to help me in ways I never even realized I needed help.

    I am sitting here listening to my sweet nine year old pray in the other room. I think I’ll go join her. And GET OFF THIS PHONE.

  5. Carrie Jones August 3, 2012 at 2:39 am #

    I am so honored you made that exception for our blog updates! I’d love to talk to you – you have my cell number. Love and miss you tons, Carrie (with a belly-full of squirming boys and girls)

  6. Elisabeth August 5, 2012 at 1:11 am #

    Same. Boat. With regards to being sucked in by the internet, that is. Today was amazingly restful, however, as it’s the first of what I hope will be many regular Sabbaths for our family. We’re heading into a season of me working full time, and so we’re setting aside Saturdays as our day of REST–and it’s SO good! Thus me wandering around blogs (just found yours through To Overflowing)… but yes. I’m strongly leaning toward doing unplugged Sabbaths for myself anyway (not sure I can convince hubby to, but we’ll see). Today we enjoyed a “Day Out With Thomas” at a local park with our two little boys, and it was simply splendid :)

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