Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Point

The last comment I remember was a question about why I would “give up” Facebook for Lent.

The implication was that it had no point.

The good thing is that it doesn’t have to have a point to that person, or anyone else for that matter. It made sense to me and frankly it was a good experience. Even now that Easter is here and that my Lord is risen and I am “allowed” back on Facebook, I won’t spend nearly as much time on it, or engaged in as much of those activities that aren’t a good use of time. Yes, we all need to relax and have some down time, but there is something wrong with the state of things when others are depending on me and I am wasting the day away on Facebook, or playing online poker, or shooting zombies, or watching TV.

So much of my life recently seemed to have a lack of discipline. The only area that I seemed to have under real control was work. That never really seems to suffer, maybe because I know so much relies on my paycheck. But, when my health is suffering from my lack of discipline, or my marriage is suffering because of my lack of discipline, then it is time to make a change.

Giving up Facebook and reclaiming that time for more productive pursuits seemed to be a good start.

First, I committed myself to quiet time with God every day. Reading scripture, prayer and journaling are typically the first thing to suffer in a busy day and I hadn’t done it regularly in a long time. That has been corrected. I am current in my bible reading and actually look forward to this time alone with God. In fact, for the first time, I miss it when I don’t have this time. And, the funny thing is that Angie can tell when I miss a day or two. She sees the change in me, and so have I. That alone is enough reason to ensure that part of my day, every day, is spent in scripture and prayer.

Second, Angie and I started the Abs Power Diet. Ultimately, the diet shows us to eat healthy foods and to build muscle. We are just starting week two and are feeling great. I’ve lost five pounds and have done abdominal workouts for the first time in years. Not pretty, or fun, but finally putting some discipline around what we are eating. The amazing discovery here is that what I eat actually tastes better than the crap I had been eating. Angie made me these chicken feta crumble things on wheat rolls and salsa for dipping yesterday. They were delicious and healthy.

Lastly, Angie and I have started to reengage around service towards others. We are mentoring a young pre-wed couple at church. We know that only through discipline in our lives will we have the time to do charity or other service for others. We both hope that this mentoring actually helps strengthen our marriage while we help a younger couple. We both used to be really involved in service, but because our lives got so hectic and disorganized we pulled back a bit. We have both felt that we should be doing on more, and only through creating more time will we be able to do so.

Ultimately, the last forty days have been transformational for me. And, that was the point. I heard a definition of disciple that I really liked (paraphrasing) “Discipline is doing today what we are able that will help us to the things we cannot do tomorrow. So, like an athlete who cannot bench two hundred pounds today, I will push as much weight as possible until I get there. That’s discipline and that’s why I took a break from Facebook.

I would venture a guess that the people who can relate do so because their lives are hectic, too. Perhaps they also feel the same pull that I feel – that we were meant for more in our lives than just living in our own small universes of ‘self’ or ‘mine’. And those that can’t relate – either they are already incredible disciplined, or perhaps no one is dependent on them.

Either way, I missed you and it’s good to see you. I hope you’ve been well and Happy Easter.


N.B. – Angie gave up fast food for the duration, even to the point where she would watch Cassie and I eat lunch while she sat there foodless. Oh, and Cassie’s lunch didn’t include sodas, because those were her Lenten sacrifice. I am really proud of both of them and I think lunch at Whataburger, with a bunch of cokes, is on me on Monday (we get one cheat meal per week).

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