Well, the sad and uncomfortable truth is that for a few weeks now, I feel as though God has been nudging me to do an entertainment fast. In the beginning, I was only feeling led to do a TV fast, but I really didn’t want to do it. I kept finding reasons not to start it – I was right in the middle of season four of Downton Abbey, and I figured it could wait.
But deep inside, I felt as though it shouldn’t wait. I’d read a blog post, have a conversation with a friend, or see an article on someone’s fridge, all having to do with drawing away from the need for entertainment.
After reading Joshua Becker’s blog post, The Difficult Joy of Not Escaping, over the weekend, I realized there was a need to give up so much more than just TV. Facebook, Pinterest, everything, needed to go, for a season.
Oh, I have struggled with it!
On Sunday, I decided to give up everything…in three weeks, when I was done Downton Abbey! (So pathetic, I know!)
On Monday, I felt no peace, and asked myself, “Why can’t I do it right now?” I realized I had no good reason. Downton Abbey would still be there when I was done.
On Monday night, I went to the Bible study I’m attending at my church, and we read Luke 5:1-11. It’s the passage about Jesus calling His first disciples. He’s preaching by the lake, and climbs into Peter’s boat to speak to the crowd. When He was done, He said to Peter, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
Peter doesn’t really want to, because he’s been fishing all night, and hasn’t caught anything, but he says, “Because you say so, I will let down the nets.” (I love that – do we need any other reason than Jesus asking us to?!”)
And then – they catch the catch of a lifetime. The greatest catch of their entire fishing career, and Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.”
So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed Him.
One of the ladies sitting beside me at the Bible study said, “I wonder what happened to all those fish?”
And when she said it, I knew! I needed to lay down some fish. Those men left those fish lying there, and followed Christ. Good grief, can’t I lay down a little bit of Downton Abbey for Jesus?! Can’t I give up some entertainment, some mindless activities, in order to spend more time with God?
Those men laid down everything that had been so important to them up until that moment, because suddenly their eyes were opened, and their priorities shifted completely. That catch of fish went from being so important, and became obsolete in light of the One calling them to follow Him.
I’m ashamed it’s taken me this long to respond to the nudging. But now that I’ve committed to it, it’s funny how I suddenly don’t care so much about everything that seemed really important just…yesterday. Maybe my priorities have been suddenly shifted, as well.
And so it has begun. I will be alone with myself. I love how Joshua Becker describes it:
I think that is why so often we choose to escape instead. We turn on the television, a video game, Facebook, or Pinterest. We turn to alcohol, tobacco, or other substances. We eat, we run, we shop, we go back to work, or we turn to unhealthy relationships.
But when we escape our present circumstance too quickly, we miss the difficult joy of looking inward. We lose opportunity to discover the motivations behind our pride, jealousy, anger, loneliness, narcissism, or selfish pursuits.
Such a great post, and definitely worth the read. It really resonates with me – I can look back and see so many ways in which I like to escape. If I need to “get away” from homeschooling or housework, it is far too tempting to sit down at the computer. At the end of a long, tiring day, I’ve slipped into thinking that I “deserve” to relax and do something mindless like watching TV.
But then I see something like this…
It’s time to think new thoughts, and examine old ones a bit deeper. It’s time to listen to what God is trying to say to me, free from distractions. It’s time to drop everything that has been weighing me down, and holding me back from what I feel God is calling me to do right now.
And just like He replace a huge catch of fish with something better, I am quite sure He will have something better for me, too!
Do you have any fish that you need to drop?;)