A CHEAP, FAST FAITH.
It’s no secret that we live in a fast-paced world. We are all in a hurry and searching for a quick fix, running through drive-thrus while reading self-help books. We have all the information we need at the touch of our fingertips. We repeat the word busy over and over again— like that is what we are meant to be, like busyness qualifies us for a trophy and a few gold stars. And we, as a generation, have never been more distracted, medicated, or depressed.
We want the easy way out of everything—marriages, meals, fears, finances, faith. So we sign the divorce papers, head to the fast food restaurants, take a few pills, make a few bets, post an inspirational verse. And we still feel stressed-out, worn-down, and empty.
We eat a bag full of fried chicken and complain when we feel sick. We binge watch Friday Night Lights and then wonder why we feel distant from God. Sometimes we do these things simultaneously, which ends with rubbing a bellyache and mumbling, “Clear eyes, full bellies, can’t lose.” (I’m not saying I have, and I’m not saying I haven’t).
Here’s the thing, friends: I’m tired of the easy route and all of the distractions and demons that come with it. The junk food has left me with acid reflux and asthma. The social media scrolling has been filling up any downtime. The constant news cycles have left me feeling overwhelmed.
The world seems to be full of screaming matches, and I can no longer hear God through all of the shouting.
We know that Satan wants us to look around for the easy button. He wants us to be busy enough to ignore the tugs from the Spirit; he wants us to give up, succumb to fear, and head down his wide path. He wants us to buy into the world of distractions and comfort.
So what do we do when the enemy is attacking and the whole broken world seems against us? What do we do when we are riddled with anxiety and fear and arguments and spiritual warfare?
We remember Truth. And we allow Him to lead us in that hard, glorious, life-giving reconstruction. We must seek out the One voice that matters and then obey it above everything else.
This is the truth that the Lord keeps revealing to me: God did not invite us into a cheap, fast faith. He invited us to walk with Him. To wait on Him. To trust Him, step by step. To take up our crosses and follow Him. None of this comes naturally to us, of course. So we must show up in our battle gear. We must train our weak muscles. We must be ready to focus on His glory in the good and the bad and everything in-between. And while I am confident that God has already won the war, we still have some difficult earthly battles to fight.
I don’t know exactly what a training regimen looks like for you. It will most likely involve digging into the Word and spending a lot of time in prayer...because I’ve repetitively found both of these to be necessary for rediscovering Truth and allowing Him to lead.
For me, even though there’s nothing particularly wrong, lately I’m finding myself to be more anxious than peaceful. I’m finding myself holding fast to my own plans instead of trusting that His ways are better. And I desperately need some blank space for God to show up and re-train my gaze on Himself.
So I’m in the beginning stages of a massive 30-day detox—a physical, mental, and spiritual overhaul from all of the processed junk and lies I’ve been buying into. I’ll be turning off the news, deleting the social media apps, changing the radio station, throwing away the Cinnamon Toast Crunch (I know, I can’t even deal right now).
But I’m also adding more of the good stuff; I’ll be cooking with fresh food, studying the Word, singing worship songs, listening to what God is teaching me and writing it down. These are life-giving things for me, even though they require patience and time and (probably) tears.
This detox is not about me working my way into heaven or blaming the world for all of my problems. This is me, attempting to shove the stuff I have placed between me and God aside—so that I can see Him clearly again. I sin because I am a sinner, not because there’s a lot of sin in the world.
But just like all of the processed sugar negatively affects how I feel, the mindless scrolling and depressing news cycles and constant media bombardment have been sending me into a downward spiral. The physical and mental burdens have been running rampant, and it’s hard to see God from behind those piles of junk.
Just the other day, I was telling Kevin about my plan for this overhaul. He was quiet for a moment (which is rare) and commented, “Wow, next month is going to be really hard.”
“I think that’s the point,” I said.
No soldier ever went into a battle thinking it would be easy. And they definitely didn’t march on the battlefield without a few basic training lessons.
Put on your armor, friends. We’ve got a battle to fight.
WANT TO JOIN?
Honestly, I hesitated in sharing this detox plan with you. I’m not trying to pat myself on the back or earn praises. In fact, it’s kind of the opposite—I am sharing in vulnerability that I need an organized plan of action so that:
-I might allow God to take the driver’s seat and start trusting that He knows the directions.
-Prayer might be a reflex instead of a last resort.
-A Jesus-flame would burn brighter and stronger.
Like I said, I also hesitated to share this with you because I don’t know what you need in your walk with God (and there is no foolproof formula even if I did). My sister can eat an entire pizza without the smallest twinge of a stomachache (I’m jealous). I know a few strong people taking anti-anxiety medications under the watchful care of therapists and doctors, and they are better kingdom builders because of modern medicine. I have friends who juggle insane schedules and still seek the Lord first. Detoxes may look different for different people.
But if a 30-day media & junk food break sounds like it might be a good path for you, I would love to hear from you so that we can cheer each other on throughout the month! (July 6-August 5)
THE PRACTICAL POINTS:
Kevin and I have done the Whole30 before (you can read about my experience here), but this time we are opting to eat Paleo-approved meals for 30 days straight (starting on July 6). Paleo is a little friendlier to the budget, and it is also more practical to implement after the month is over. *We are not viewing this as a diet, but as a detox.
I’m not disengaging from the world completely, but I will be cutting out Instagram and Facebook for the month. I won’t be watching the news (I’ll be reading it), and I’ll be scaling back on TV. However, I will be available through call, text, and e-mail. I’ll be showing up to life in person, and I plan to keep showing up here—if I feel led to share any of this journey through jumbled words and stories.
I’m not really sure what to expect. I just know that I’ve been craving blank spaces and quiet mornings, intentionality and more time in prayer. And if I don’t give myself some guidelines to refocus, I will continue to wander around in circles while trying to do everything myself.
I’m most nervous from a business standpoint, to be honest. So many of my clients find me through social media, and I won’t be posting there for an entire month. But God is a provider, and I am attempting to release my biggest worries along with my smallest ones.
I hope to approach meals a little more slowly and methodically. I hope to make a habit of prayer as a first resort. I hope, when it’s all over, I will be refreshed from the media break and eager to engage it again with joy. I will definitely be tired of doing the dishes.
I know God will show up, because He always does—sometimes we just need to notice Him.