Given opportunity, I will be consumed by consuming. Books, Music, ideas, information. But gorging on input has been hindering my output.
Last month, God prompted me to attempt an ‘input fast.’ I needed to dam the flow of input into my soul, with a very few exceptions, and fill up with Him alone.
So, I finally worked up the courage to be input free for one day.
It didn’t take long for me to encounter blank mental space.
I sat there, phone in hand, quickly checking for time sensitive emails (one of my input exceptions). Then there it was – that moment when I would usually check social media or read more email. But not this time. This time I was face to face with blank space. I couldn’t check Facebook, or Instagram or Pinterest. So, more out of habit than anything else, I touched that blue weather icon.
Maybe all my input gathering gives me a sense of security because what it really gives me is a sense of control. Being ‘in the know’ gives all of us perceived power.
It seems silly, but that little display of clouds and rain and sun represented my craving for control through consuming input. Checking the weather that day revealed the barometer of my soul. And I didn’t like the tempest I saw.
I began examining this revelation from another angle. What if I didn’t know the forecast? What then?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
The wind and clouds and rain will pass through the Northwest Autumn as they always do. Storms and sun will dance across the stage of the sky in precisely the order they’ve been commanded – whether I have a program or not.
And so goes all of life. I try to know what lies ahead – to control how I get there and how I get through. I believe the lie that somehow my knowledge is required to keep this life afloat, when all along I’m safe in the hands of the All Knowing One.
But there’s more to this weather lesson than finding rest in releasing a false sense of control.
As I ponder, I recognize that joy and delight are sacrificed on the altar of control.
But, there can be childlike pleasure in experiencing the unexpected!
Just a few days ago I woke to a stunningly foggy autumnal morning. It brought me a small thrill to be surprised in such a way. Even now as I write, the blue and gray skies battle above me. And I have the joy of being on the sidelines to observe their swirling dance. And I didn’t know either of these things would happen ahead of time. In this, I find deep pleasure. In the Creator of the unexpected I find deep joy.
No matter how well informed I think I am, only God knows what my next breath will bring. I can rest in that truth, and I can delight in it too!
I’ve checked the weather a little less often since that day. And as I’ve fasted from input on two more days since, my soul barometer is telling me that the tempest is calming.
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