I have decided that, just in time for Lent, I am going to fast.
You might remember that several years ago, I accidentally fasted from my iPhone after my cellular device slipped into a toilet. It was not by intention to give up anything for that Lenten period, especially my iPhone, and certainly not for a whole week, which felt like forever. However, life happens. What I discovered during that torturous time was how attached I had become to checking, checking, checking. I had developed a little dependency issue. Once I became aware of my powerlessness, I was afraid a 12-step group might be in my future. As we all know, this is how addictions start—just a little here and there and before long, we can’t live without our favorite drug of choice, be it an iPhone, chocolate or watching reruns of NCIS.
Anyway, the Lenten season is upon us and fasting has once again been forced upon me. Some people give up coffee, chocolate and even Facebook, but not me. I have given up power.
It was never my idea.
T’was the night before last when all through the house, not a light was shining from any device. (My apologies to Lewis Carroll.) Assuming that the howling winds had knocked out the power “out there,” Mr. Handy Man and I turned over and went back to sleep, assuming that by morning everything would be aright.
This was not to be.
Two hours later, our son pulled in the driveway and noticed a tree was down and laying on power lines. Flashlights were found and an inspection began. What we discovered was that a large limb had broken off a very tall pine tree, downing the power lines to the house. Once morning came, a closer inspection revealed that the limb fell between the house and the two cars, damaging nothing but the electrical pole and lines. If my son had arrived home earlier, the limb would have landed on his car and totaled it. If he had been in it, well, we just don’t want to think about that. We have much grateful for.
And so began our fast from electricity— Edison came out and cut the wires. Then Mr. Handy Man learned new electrical skills and replaced the pole. Finally we began the long cold, dark wait for Edison to return and restore power.
In the end, we fasted for nearly 24 hours without any of our modern conveniences--TV, internet, lights. No laundry, oven or even a hair dryer. (Yikes!) During our powerless hours, we got reacquainted with candles, flashlights and how to start a fire. (Which kind, I will not say.)
Life without these modern conveniences was like life without my iPhone—it revealed the inner workings of my heart which is crying out for rest. Life has a way of sucking me into its non-stop, 24/7 pace and I think its time for me to take a full stop from this frenetic pace.
Now that my power is back on, I have begun planning my extended holiday. I hope Mr. Handy Man will be able to join me.
Happy Lent to you all, and to all a good night!
GENEVA CHINNOCK is a writer and author of Becoming His Beloved: Journey into the Father’s Affection. Geneva has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and a Master in Business Administration. In her spare time, Geneva loves reading, eating bacon and attending live theater. She lives in Southern California with her husband and blogs about matters of faith at TreasuredbyGod.com.