Day 296 & 297: Items Purchased: 0, Temptation Radar:0
Wednesday October, 27 & Thursday, October 28, 2011
Sometimes you just need a break from the everyday. The hustle and bustle of life becomes, for all of us, exhausting. Certainly, it’s easy to get swallowed up in the duty of responsibility; checking things off whatever to- do list may be looming and working toward achieving your picture of productivity. I was promoted from the cave of intense study and training on Wednesday. At five o’clock, I hopped online to take a timed assessment of all that I had learned. Thankfully, I passed. Suddenly, I was on to the next thing: meeting Steve and the children at our church Harvest Party. It didn’t occur to me to celebrate the accomplishment of finishing or even to acknowledge it. The very thing that consumed every part of me for the past 3 days was over, and that was it: on to the next thing. And so it goes, each day, week, month, season, year, a series of events or milestones, likely turned into deadlines and tests. We travel through each of them, but then…it’s just over. For me, it’s easy to get in these ruts every so often where I’m like, “Wait a minute. Why am I doing all of this again? Is my energy focused on the stuff that matters? Is life just a series of tests? And if so, who determines the true passing of them?”
I did it again today. I thought about it: the worry and my unrest over various responsibilities and situations, although seemingly important,may be in vain, for those things may not yield eternal value. So, keep it in check, I must. Next, I began to review to the 2 simple questions that serve as the governing compass of my life,
“Are the priorities and activities of your life honoring the One to whom you are accountable?”
” Are the priorities and activities of your life nurturing and caring for the ones He has given to you and for whom He is holding you responsible?”
You see, really this is what Shopfast was all about to begin with. I saw a weakness, a hangup, a distraction. I saw a hindrance to my ability to have the right answer for these important questions. Shopping and the love of it was paralyzing me from moving into a deeper walk of faith. It was the one thing holding me back. It was the thing I used like a drug to dull pain, solve problems, prop me up, cheer me up, calm me down, reward me, avenge me, justify me. Me. Me. Me. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. So wrong.
Thankfully, I was rescued; arrested by a tiny whisper….an invitation….calling me to go a little higher. I accepted.
Today, I noticed that the temptation radar reported each day has consistently been zero for several weeks. Wow. ZERO. My friend Beth stopped over for a visit Thursday and we chatted about the Shopfast journey a bit, this point in particular. “I think the blog may be getting a little boring. After all, it was funny in the beginning because I was always lamenting about my temptation and things I was passing up and how excruciating it was. I think maybe it was those stories that made it intriguing.” She said, “Do you think you’ve changed? Do you think you’ll go back to your old ways?” I continued, “That’s the thing, I can’t go back. It’s different now. These days, I walk in a store and there’s nothing gripping me. I can truly walk away. I don’t feel like i HAVE to have anything.”
Last year, my “everyday ” norm of life centered largely around shopping. This year, it’s making sure, as best I can, that my life answers the demands of the 2 questions I mentioned. I hope that at the end of all this, I’ll be a little wiser in accomplishing that.
My beautiful family. I could treasure nothing more.
(*Thanks to my lovely friend Beth of Beth Carter Photography who captured this image)