"Imagine a woman has her money all arranged, and somehow loses some--doesn't she tear through her wallet, her desk, the laundry piled on the floor in search of it? And when she finds it, doesn't she text a friend or post a photo on Facebook: 'Check it out--I really DID find five dollars!' In the same way, a veritable dance party is thrown in heaven for a single broken heart turning back into the path of God."
Luke 15:8-10, Channy Paraphrase
Life has just been a little meh lately. In several instances over the last few months, people have eagerly asked me what's new, and I have replied with brevity, with apathy, with silence. This isn't to say things are bad, just that there is nothing remarkable--literally nothing worth remark--in my life lately. "That's good," replied one friend a couple weeks ago. "It means things are stable. Stability is good." Well, yes. But there's stable, and then there's stagnation.
And that's what I've been feeling lately: stagnant. Things have been fine--got a nice letter from the CEO celebrating my 5-year mark at work, ministry is trucking along like never before, I've had lots of good friend times lately, I've been in the Word every day for [checks helpful app] 43 days. So what's missing?
I puzzled on it for a bit, and frankly, it didn't take long. A few months ago, there was balance in my life--lots of busy-ness and filled work days, lots to do for ministry as idea after idea fizzled, trips out of town and fitting in as much time with friends around that as possible. But over the summer, everything sort of screeches to a halt, and that time that was my needed rest and downtime (Netflix + couch + mildly healthy snack food) became my all-the-time. And it's stunning how habit-forming that it, and how sneaky--I knew that I was wasting hours each day doing nothing but watching TV shows I don't care about... and yet I didn't care.
So today--roll up sleeves--I made myself a little resolution. (Perhaps I've mentioned my general loathing for New Year's resolutions... so hello, August 22!) It began with waking up early--and rather than hitting snooze for a third time, getting up early--grabbing my journal, and starting my day with Jesus, writing out some thoughts and petitions of prayer. And it's continued with working hard--not just getting the minimums done, but getting a jump start on future projects at work, punctuated by a visit to our gym. And it's continued with--drumroll, please--me canceling my Netflix account.
I should give you a minute here.
While I love Netflix, it continues to be too great a temptation to flop, to turn off the brain, to watch things that, at best, are mildly entertaining and shift from that to emotionally/spiritually unhealthy surprisingly quickly. So I'm spending tonight blogging (shock!), reading my book for Speakeasy, and going out with a friend*.
These are all teeny, pretty insignificant things. But as I ate my dinner (and listened to my Hillsong United Pandora station and had myself a little dance party that may or may not result in heartburn soon), I found myself noticing how small shifts bring about a total change. (For more cookie fortunes, turn to Chapter 7.) I've done very little, but I feel very different. And I got to thinking that I wonder if we don't limit the idea of Luke 15 up there by only quoting it in reference to those utterly blind to God who are found. Because my life, while defined by some major repentances, is more commonly shaped by little revivals, bits and pieces that fall back into place after weeks or years of restlessness and disorder.
So I'm simplifying. More books and less screen time. More writing and less Words With Friends. More prayer and less prattle. More relationships and less... all the crap I pretend is relational. Little changes. Simple things. Almost too small to make a difference. Almost.
*Because we aim to bring you the whole truth on this little program, I shall confess: said friend and I went out... to watch a movie. But it was SOCIAL. And we went out--grabbed blankets and pillows and ice cream and pizza and flopped on the grass under the moon by a lighthouse and my beautiful bay and laughed at the movie and the kids quoting the movie around us. This beats Netflix a million to one.