Withdrawal.

on May 15, 2007 in Ze Bloggy Goodness with 5 comments by

Let me just give you dream scenario- great spring Saturday, boiled peanuts, Diet Dr. Pepper, the North Georgia mountains, and the Relevant Magazine podcasts featuring Donald Miller (author of Blue Like Jazz). You may call that a dream; I call it last Saturday. And it ruled.

Donald Miller is an interesting character. I dig him. Big time. I like hearing someone that is a solid writer talk about social justice and American culture. He talked about how our culture is addicted to money and what money can buy us. Did you know the average American sees 3000 commercial images a day? That’s nuts. He said this-

“For a follower of Christ in our culture….. if I’m not in withdrawal pretty often, then something is wrong.”

And then he talks about tithing and understanding how to enter into withdrawal- living with less so that our lives can’t become about money. But it’s not just about the first 10%, it’s about our whole lives being lived in a way that denies our human flesh desires. (Can someone please give me a less churchy word that “flesh”! I’m sure there is one out there, but I can’t think of it!)

I think Don Miller is right, and I struggle with this. But I’ll tell you what, since listening to this, more than once a day I have said to myself, “It is okay to feel unsatisfied. It is okay to ignore your flesh do the opposite of what it craves. In fact, it’s GOOD.”

Call me crazy, but I want to live like that. I think I have this belief system ingrained in my sweet little American heart that if there is a way to be more comfortable, then gosh darn it- find it!! And if there is a way to be happier or more relaxed, satisfied, sedated- then get it.

Don’t get me wrong- God wants us to enjoy His blessings and provision, but that doesn’t mean I get everything I want when I want it. I’m an adult-an adult Christian- I don’t need a pacifier. I just need Jesus. Know what I’m saying? So I guess withdrawal and saying no to my screaming flesh are one in the same to me. Because saying NO to my natural tendencies is saying YES to God in me. Exercise when you don’t want to. Talk to someone at Kroger that you’d rather avoid. Read the Bible EVERY morning. Be disciplined. Be real. Be whatever it takes to live in withdrawal, so that the Holy Spirit rules you- not your flesh. I’m working on it- and when I get it right (rare), it feels good- like your lungs feel “good” right after you’ve run up a hill. Not really relaxed or comfortable, but STRONG.

Continue to pray for my trip to Scotland. I still need about $800 and a fresh word for God for these students. A super amazing friend of mine encouraged me a LOT today about God planting something in me for these students- it’s set my heart on a determined path to find that word. So PLEASE pray. I depend on it.

FYI- God has given me the best today. I’m living all in it. Just so you know.

5 comments

  1. ManUtd17
    posted on May 15, 2007 at 12:17 PM  |  reply

    Great stuff to think about. Getting a little Freudian, but you did want something that was not “churchy.” Freud was about as unchurchy as you could get. But what about using “Id” instead of “flesh.”

  2. Anonymous
    posted on May 15, 2007 at 2:18 PM  |  reply

    Good word, sister!

    -Elizabeth Smith 🙂

  3. carolineb
    posted on May 15, 2007 at 8:50 PM  |  reply

    You are well on your way to being the best Annie in the whole wide world. I like to substitute the phrase, “my big ass” in the place of “flesh”. It’s not so churchy.

  4. ManUtd17
    posted on May 16, 2007 at 12:59 PM  |  reply

    Can I change my suggestion to what Caroline said? I think if you check the original Greek, that’s a decent translation of the word!

  5. brad
    posted on May 16, 2007 at 3:06 PM  |  reply

    Annie, reading your blog is like going to church without going to church.

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