Breathing Room – A Lenten Story

This reflection from Week 1 of Lent is shared by Josh Lamm. If you have a story or a reflection that you’d like to share, please email us and let us know.

About a week ago we started our social media fast at The Parish. Nothing fancy, we just took a week off. We didn’t go to twitter and let the world know we would be gone. We just stopped.

I knew if I was going to make it through the week I would need to delete all the apps off my phone. That’s where I primarily use social media. So on the drive home from church last week I deleted them. Don’t worry, my wife was driving. We pulled into our garage and I was ready. Ready to take down the hold that social media had on my life in one week.

Honestly I had visions of great pain and suffering. It was none of that. Not even close. It did make elevator rides more awkward but that’s about it. Honestly it was embarrassingly easy. Which to me is a good thing and a bad thing. On one hand, the world of social media doesn’t have that firm of a grip on me. On the other hand, why do I waste so much time scrolling through an endless list of nothingness?

I found myself using my newfound time for things that were much more rewarding. They gave me a sense of accomplishment, a feeling of worth. I found myself having more meaningful conversations and reading more. Or on a smaller scale, simply being okay with a little bit of silence. Removing social media gave me a little more room to breathe.

I swear I was born in the wrong century. I prefer phone calls to emails and I prefer paper to a computer screen. I read the Wall Street Journal everyday, in paper form not on my phone or computer. A few months ago I was making my way through the paper and I found a great article about how to manage stress and not wear yourself completely out. I’ve always envisioned stress like the scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where Indy and Short Round are stuck in the room with ceiling slowing closing in on them. Stress is a slow death, a suffocating death. The article suggested something so simple I thought there was no way it would work. Breathe more. That’s it. Throughout the day take more breaths and those moments will begin to break down.

God could have designed our bodies in so many different ways. He chose for our lungs to be strained in stressful situations and for them to work best in restful ones. Last week without social media allowed me to breathe in areas of my life that I hadn’t before. It wasn’t about not knowing who got cut from my favorite sports team or looking at pictures of my friends in traffic that they perfectly frame to show the world they drive a Mercedes SUV.

It was about the space that was created for me to breathe. It’s in those moments that I find His still small voice speaks loudest. In the quiet He makes His presence known. Having taken the time off last week has allowed me to experience God in a whole new way. A way He desires us to experience him in. A way that I don’t think I am willing to give up. I will re-engage in social media again, but not at the expense of my time to breathe.

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