I've been writing numerous posts the last few weeks. Have you enjoyed them? Oops! They never made it out of my mind on to the screen. There has been so much going on in my life, taking up my head space. I have employed my default coping mechanism: escapism.
For much of my life, books have been my escape. School lunch times in my early teens were often spent reading to avoid dealing with social interaction in my depressed and anxious state. Nowadays it's in social media, YouTube or TV. With Australia getting Netflix coinciding with a new season of intensity in my life, escapism has taken on a whole new level. Dr Who has been my escape of choice this week.
I don't think there is anything inherently wrong in indulging in a little distraction in times of stress or busyness. The switch off time for my brain is welcome. The trouble comes in its addictive nature, at least for me. I find myself sucked more and more into the virtual reality offered in the pages of a good book or an engaging show. I think about and orchestrate ways to get back to it to the detriment of everything else in my life. This is the same flavour of difficulty as the phone addiction that I've been working on (you can read more about that here).Two sides to the same coin.
The greatest difference I notice in myself when on an escapism binge is the increased negativity, irritability, lack of focus and fatigue I experience. I don't think it is a coincidence that my relationship with God suffers in the time drain of watching or reading. The days this week that I have made the effort to get back to my quiet times alone with God or work on my Scripture memory challenge have been the most positive and productive by far.
I'm looking forward to Hello Mornings kicking off again next week. The accountability always makes a huge difference for me. My situation may not change in the near future. There is still so much to do to prepare for putting our house on the market in the next couple of weeks. My daughter may still be displaying increasing anxiety with the changes around her. She may still get sick periodically. So might I. The difference comes with where I look to for my strength and peace.
I know that it is no coincidence that God put particular Scriptures on my heart to memorise before all of this ramped up. I choose to dwell on them and not all that is out of my control or left undone.
If you are like me and use technology, books or anything else to escape the reality that you find yourself in, I pray that you too discover the true peace found in Christ. I fight to enter His rest and live out of that place. Praise God for His grace that covers the times I don't.