Re·treat: an act or process of withdrawing (b) the process of receding from a position or state attained
2 : a place of privacy or safety : refuge
3 : a period of withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction under a director
Last week I retreated away with the Lord. We didn’t go anywhere. But He withdrew my heart away for “a period of prayer, meditation, study and instruction.”
I wish I could say he took it to Malibu, where we relaxed all-inclusive, ocean side on plush white towels, His sandal-strapped toes in the sand.
He took me through tough terrain. We hiked steep, rocky mountains in blazing hot sun. We stopped only for boot camp drills – my heart jumping tall tires and leaping high walls. It wasn’t pretty. But He had some work to do with me. Work that lounging by calm water would never produce.
He set out to detox my soul.
Main Entry: de·tox·i·fy
1 a : to remove a harmful substance (as a poison or toxin) or the effect of such from
God set out to remove harmful toxins of Sin. To cleanse me from the poison of hurt, fear, anger, sadness, apathy, laziness and greed.
Detox is never pretty.
But it heals.
While retreating, God led me into a fast from media. Ouch.
All of it.
I did, however, ask Him if I could start on Tuesday. I really wanted to see who Ali chose on the Bachelorette. He said Yes. 🙂
The boys joined me in this media fast, too. I was scared. No Playhouse Disney. No PBS. No computer games. No Wii. Surprisingly, they did great.
During the day I was fine. But come evening, when the boys went down, that dark, blank TV screen stared at me. As if to say, “Turn me on! Pop your popcorn. Put on your bathrobe. Sit down in your nest. Prop up those polka-dot slippers. And rest with me.”
Oh, do I ever find rest there.
But I refrained. Instead, Brent and I talked for hours. We worked on a couple of household projects. I read and read and read. And the Lord met me in the silence.
I realized how much noise is self-inflicted in my life. I add stress to my own day by creating unnecessary noise. I realize that the TV hinders my marriage by fighting for my affection and attention.
But even more, I started wondering what life would be without media. How would I be different as a person? How much is my thought life, speech, character and heart affected or “infected” with cultural impurities.
What fruit does my life subtly reap from pop culture media?
Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.
Jesus is saying, if you want to know what is going on in someones heart, listen to his speech. Words come out of the abundance of the heart. My words come up from my soul.
What I put into my mind goes into my heart and comes out of my mouth.
And the fruit of my life is the “visible expression of power working inwardly.” – Vines
Good fruit is this….”The visible expression of the invisible Holy Spirit in those who are in Christ.”
Good fruit can not be faked. Good fruit is a visible expression of the Holy Spirit. I can not just “change my words” to make my fruit healthy. I have to change what goes into my heart.
The heart is a vital organ, not only to physical health, but to the spiritual. We must protect our heart.
The Word says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23
Wow. Above all else.
Did I turn the T.V. back on after my fast? Yes. Am I condemning myself because I choose to watch television? No way. I love the sound of Wheel of Fortune while I give the boys a bath. 🙂 It takes me back to my childhood.
But the Lord wants me to be more guarded. I need to keep constant evaluation of what I watch and how much time I spend there. He wants me to evaluate my relationship to media and measure the effect it has on my marriage, on my family and on my walk with Him.
Search me, O God and know my heart…See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23, 24
I would love to hear how you balance media in your own life.