It's about to get quiet around here, and I'm about to see what happens when my best laid plans get hijacked by God.
Things have been noisy around here. Noisy in my house, noisy in my heart, noisy in my cluttered brain.
And I had a big month in store for this little corner of the Internet. I told you, just yesterday, all about some of those plans, but I heard something a few days ago that rocked me and, well, the plans are changing.
I heard this, this week, at work:
"Think about how many people are talking in our world… blogs, Facebook, Twitter. Now think about how many are listening."
Plenty of people are listening, I thought. I'm listening.
But over the days that followed, I started seeing what I was really listening to. I started realizing that in this season of disconnect, I was turning to blogs, to friends, to social media for connection. I was spending more mental energy on this virtual reality than on spiritual reality, and puffing my chest with the accolades of readers that barely know me. I was cranky at not having enough time to connect with my virtual support system but barely concerned with the hours I wasn't spending with my children in my arms, with my husband at my side, with my Bible open, with my pen in hand.
So when I went low in prayer on the topic of Lent, it should be no surprise that this was what was to be offered, the sacrifice that must be laid down.
"Stop talking to the world, and start listening to Me."
I've never observed Lent before, not really. And I didn't particularly plan on doing it this year either, but when I examined what my heart really needed in preparation for Easter, the whisper became a roar and I knew that my Ebenezer must become my Isaac in this Lenten season.
It's about listening. It's about getting quiet so I can be still and know that he is God. It's about seeking words for connection. Not the words of blogs or Facebook comments or Twitter, but the words I can only hear when my world gets quiet, when my ear is turned against the noise.
I'm laying down social media in observance of Lent. I'm attempting to turn, instead, to connection with the Creator in pursuit of a heart that more fully understands the Sacrifice we're meditating on during this season. This goes so strongly against my nature as the do-it-all queen, but I think that's entirely the point. There is nothing that needs to be done more than being present, more than fully listening, more than making room in crowded spaces.
The giving up? Fasting? This is never about what we can earn with our best efforts. It's about letting the Lord discipline our minds, hearts, and bodies to change course when we've gone off track, to allow for the craving of our flesh that can be fully satisfied by the cleansing of our heart.
I won't be around here much for the next 40-ish days. Won't be on Facebook or Twitter either. I do have a few book and product review commitments I've made that I'll honor (so I'll pop up every now and again), and I'll still be available by email or direct messaging by name, but for the most part, I'm just trying to quiet the constant stream making its way into my life, to tunnel my vision to the road toward Calvary.
See you around Easter, friends.
"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." – Psalm 51:10-12