Have you ever gone on a God Hunt? A God Hunt begins when you teach yourself to look for God’s hand at work in the everyday occurrences of your life. Here’s one of my personal God Hunt Sightings:
This week Karen is in the Dominican Republic directing a film shoot for Medical Ambassadors International. She would appreciate your prayers as you read these blogs. Filming in another country, on a low budget and without knowing the language can be tricky indeed. Shoot crews are well aware of their need for God’s help. Thank you.
Prevailing sins have a way of cloaking the hold they have over you. I finally have come to terms with the fact that I watch too much television.
Now the irony of this is that I don’t really like television. I hate the interruption of commercials, flip channels, lose my interest, then find something else that’s halfway interesting, flip the channel during the next commercial break, monitor that I am thinking continually, Oh, please! Over 350 working channels and this is all there is?
Most of network television is inane. Everywhere you look on cable or otherwise, any hour, someone is shooting or killing someone else. No wonder we have a gun culture.
Since I usually wake around 3:00 a.m. and rarely stay asleep past 5:30, I am fading fast by mid-afternoon. So my problem with television is a little more complicated than just being addicted (most prevailing sins have feeder causes); my biggest difficulty is that I am sleep-deprived.
David, gifted with the capacity of deep sleep, always says, “Just turn off your mind.” If it was only that easy.
By evening, I’m too tired to start on the projects waiting in line for my attention, too brain-fatigued to plow into the pile of books sitting and waiting to be read, and too achy to cook meals for the next day.
We’re doing great if I get us through dinner and clean up the kitchen. We generally do not go out in the evenings. Once I’m in for the night, I don’t like to stir myself (or perhaps I should say that I am too fatigued to stir myself).
David goes up to his study, and since I don’t want to go to sleep at 6:30—think what time I would wake up—11 o’clock?—I turn on the television to catch the news, sitting there hating the inanity or the criminality of most of it. I try to get I bed no later than 9:00 p.m. Last night I was in bed early and woke at 12:32, 2:14, 4:30, and finally at 5:30. But I did get a patchwork 7-8 hours of sleep. Usually, I achieve 5-6 hours of sleep.
I am aware that every sleepless night, countless cells in my brain die.
However, while in the Dominican Republic with David, creating a script and setting up the sites for a film-shoot the last part of this month, my old familiar allergy went systemic and after nine airplane trips in two weeks’ time, I was so bad I hauled myself to a general physician for a physical checkup, then off to a kinesiologist, who applied various tests and recommended a combination of six supplements.
My allergy has calmed, I’m feeling stronger, and I must be getting better due to the fact that for the first time in my decades-long sleepless saga, I thought to myself, I should give up television for Lent.
Lent, of course, is that period designed in the church calendar by wise church fathers that gives us a long enough opportunity to consider ourselves before God so that he can show us where it is, exactly, we need to improve.
The character Marlow, in Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim, remarks, “It is my belief that no man ever understands quite his own artful dodges to escape from the grim shadow of self-knowledge.” Psalms 51 says the same thing, in a different way: “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts, you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.” So this is my Lenten Practice for the year 2013:
Karen Mains’ Lenten Practice for 2013
- Faithfully take, every day, the supplements that are designed to strengthen weak systems in your body.
- Meditate and memorize portions of Psalm 51.
- No television or video-watching from Ash Wednesday through Easter Day.
- Develop a getting-ready-for-sleep ritual in the hour before bedtime.
- Attempt to go back to sleep when you wake at night. DO NOT get out of bed. If you can’t sleep, spend the time in bed praying.
Forgive me, O Lord, for wasting these precious hours of my life. Strengthen me to keep this Lenten vow of omission. Forgive me, O Lord, for not caring for my body enough that I let it suffer the impact of allergies that warn that I am out-of-sync with your healthy design. Teach me the things I need to know in order to serve you well with the rest of the days of my life. Amen.
I spy God!