It's two months into my unexpected detox. I have not watched television, listened to the radio, or been to the movies. The power goes off randomly anywhere from 5 mins up to 22 hours. I have to warm up the water for my bucket shower. Sunny days means laundry day. Rainy days means water to wash, cook, and clean with.
It wasn't until about three days ago I realized I have been unknowingly detoxing from the pressures of American media and way of life. I have not been bombarded by advertisements that use sex to sell their product, commercials pushing consumerism and materialism, pressure to dress or act a certain way to impress, no one has taken my beliefs out of context and turned them into hate, and I haven't been exposed to inappropriate humor or behavior. I haven't used a washing machine, heater or a/c, toaster, microwave, or oven.
All of these things and then some have been so accepted in our society that it seems "normal" or "just the way things are these days".
I must say that I feel so free and light. Don't get me wrong, I love America and appreciate the opportunities that it offers. And the food! But, sometimes, as Christians, we have to examine the parts of the world that we have come to accept and participate in that don't honor God as far as media is concerned. Also, to examine if we are caught up in the flow of having to attain. There's even pressure to have gadgets to simplify our complicated lives. I can't help but think that the more gadgets we get the more complicated things become ha.
Being away from the media has shown me so much of the things in my life that offend God. I've also learned a much slower more simple way of life. I am learning the value of genuine community. It seems that there is a greater sense of community because of the simple way of living.
Now that I am aware of things in my life that offend God or try to distract me from him I can't just ignore it. I am looking forward to another month of detox and letting God continue to cleanse me and show me ways to have a simple life in the land of excess. Yes, I will thoroughly enjoy an actual shower and going to restaurants and grocery stores and sleeping without a mosquito net and the other great amenities of life in the States! I just don't want to get back to a place of needing them or the mindset that says I deserve them or being consumed by them, ya know? Good things lose their good-ness when they take our focus off of God even if it is only slightly.
A.W. Tozer says, "The evil habit of seeking God-and effectively prevents us from finding God in full revelation. In the "and" lies our great woe. If we omit the "and" we shall soon find God, and in Him we shall find that for which we have all our lives been secretly longing."
This "detox" has shown me the many "ands" I have been seeking along with trying to seek God. God and money. God and success. God and relationships. God and purpose. God and identity. The "ands" hinder me from finding God in the way that I want to and need to. In Him alone is everything I long for.