I'm not catholic but I've found that I'm drawn to seasons of remembrance and reflection. I have a pretty go, go, go kind of life and don't always have my mind on the spiritual. So when I heard Lent was starting I thought to myself I should participate. It's a 40 day period leading up to Easter and is meant to be a time of preparation mirroring Jesus's 40 days in the wilderness. It's a time of confession and reflection on the sacrifice Jesus made to pay for our sins. Traditionally this includes fasting but the modern interpretations of fasting have come to include giving something up for those 40 days. Some people give up TV or pasta. I got the very clear impression God wanted me to give up noise. From the moment I wake up to the time I'm falling asleep I'm either listening to a book or have TV on in the background. It helps occupy my mind while my hands are busy. God's been hinting that this is a problem. How can I ever hear from Him if my ears are always listening to something else. So I agreed and the number 10 popped into my head.....10 hours a day of silence...........................................................................................................................
Um, no God...that is a lot of hours of silence...Like that was just an arbitrary number that I thought of before I did the math....that's not actually what God wants? It can't be, I don't want to do that!
It went on in my head like this for a little while and that's when I knew that was exactly what God wanted me to do and that I really did have a problem. I'm addicted to noise. Granted, my noise. I don't blare heavy metal all day long. That would be torture. Nope, my noise is books. One right after another. No need to concern myself that I haven't heard from the Lord. No need to learn how to take my thoughts captive. Nope, books cure most ills. Too tired to get chores done and don't want to feel guilty, cue up a story!
Now, that 10 hours does not include sleeping, I checked. That's 10 awake hours. Anyway, it's been really hard. I've had to plan for other peoples noise in my quest to give up 10 hours a day. That means I have even less of my own noise and my selfish heart has whined...oh yes. There has even been angry, pouty face. Totally ashamed. It has meant that I have had lots of quiet time with God and have gotten a lot of chores done.....nothing motivates you to do something you don't want to do like being bored of just sitting there listening to your own thoughts *shudder* I'm grateful that God is working on this with me. It needed to be addressed. I'm still struggling with looking with dread upon the remaining time, I didn't realize Lent could be so looooong, but I'm looking forward to being closer to my Lord and truly ready to hear from Him.