My family and I have just finished a season of fasting, along with many of the people at Canvas Church. We commit 21 days every year to a time of prayer and fasting. Each year I am surprised and overwhelmed at how God shows up. Just one more reminder that God doesn’t live in my box of expectations. He is more wonderful and mysterious than my greatest imagination.
I will admit, I am so very glad to be drinking coffee again. It is the one thing I always fast because I don’t ever want to say, “I can’t live without it.” As you can see I survived but I am enjoying every delicious drop. The trick is to come back at it slowly, just one cup, otherwise I won’t sleep for a week. It is funny how one 8oz cup of coffee can have such a startling effect on me after only 3 short weeks of absence. I am an avid coffee drinker, 3 cups a day on average. But after a short break, stepping away and detoxing, its like being jolted with a defibrillator.
It is also a jolt to the system how loud everything is after a fast. The TV, the internet, the news, they all seem to be yelling and screaming at me. Everything is calling out for attention. Over here, over there, more information to fill up time and space in my life. During the regular coarse of life, I don’t think I notice so much. But, with a 21 day break, it’s like being struck with lightening and being asked to recover ever 15 seconds. Let me say this, my family didn’t do a huge media fast, we didn’t isolate ourselves or change all that much. We just spent more time with things off and more time engaged with each other, it was part of the commitment we had chosen to make during the fast.
All this jolting to my system is a bit overwhelming and has me thinking. How do we do it? How do we hear the small voice of God with everything yelling at us all the time? We are called to be out in the world, loving people, ministering, serving and praying. We can’t lock ourselves in our houses and never come out. Where is the discipling in that? If God speaks in the whispers, how do we hear him through all the noise?
I wonder about the tolerance, like with my cup of coffee. Today I will drink one cup. And maybe for a few weeks I will keep it to just one because I know it is what is best for me. But a month from now, 6 months from now, will I be drinking 3 cups a day again. Probably.
So, my question to you is…. How do we go from a time of reverence and drawing into God, a time of sacrifice and worship back to the “real world”? Sure, right now it is assaulting to the senses. But, a month from now, 6 months from now, how do we keep our focus and attention on the still small voice?