The End of a Fast

CURRENTLY READING: Jayber Crow, by Wendell Berry

My Master's Thesis/Culmination Project in the Fall of 07-Spring of 08 drained me. It removed me from all writing, talking, sharing and even reading... unless it was for the project. I loved the project, but when it was done I had read enough books and written enough words to feel drained from both exercises. So I entered a fast. Not really a fast of discipline or one that brings honor to God necessarily... just a removal of a specific action from my life, or actions perhaps.
1) Reading
2) Writing (save for a Facebook post or Tweet)

Now, in all honesty I thought it would only last a couple months, or at the most 3-4, but it has been almost 1 1/2 years now and I am feeling the effects. My newish job as the Director of Admissions at my Alma Mater has made personal time hard to come by. Not a critique or complaint, just an honest observation, especially when my job is combined with my insatiable desire for community (which we have pursued at length here). Although time in community is "personal time", it is more about the investment in relationships than in oneself (although I am aware of how we sharpen one another).

The last 6 months I have become appalled at my fast, but incapable of ending it. I have slowly picked through Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry over the past year and a half. I think it was given to me as a graduation gift in fact. I actually LOVE this book and it is the object that compels me to write today, but I just couldn't remain consistent for more than 2-3 days or 1-2 chapters. As 2009 comes to an end I am sad to say that I have not grown very much personally in the past year. I have grown professionally in several ways, which I am sure are necessary, but my mind and spirit have felt somewhat weak to me and unchallenged... until lately.

Several relationships and gatherings of Christ-followers have stirred me this semester and confronted me with my current state of spiritual and mental slumber. I began leading a small group on campus of 7 amazing and honest guys (Ben, Joe, Tyler, Sam, Josh, Joe and Joel). We began meeting with 2 other couples (Kellers and Byrds) for a new expression of house church (a third family has joined us at times as well). We attend West Side Naz and are very committed to our relationship and weekly gathering with the Petersons (even when we are out of town on Sundays so often). In addition to this my other college roommates have been around much more frequently. Eric's new job allows him to stop by and pop in more often and Mark is staying with us for a couple weeks helping me out with some much needed projects in the office. They both naturally challenge me simply by their presence, just as they constantly did throughout all 4 years of college. The beauty of all this is I share each of these relationships with Kelly. We are sharpened by the same swords and challenged by the same friends. I love that about us. We truly are in this together.

So, why do I write? For myself. To get this confession written out. To hold myself accountable. To write it so Kelly will read it and know more clearly where I am and where I am hopefully heading. To share with anyone else who is still listening and explain the silence that has graced this page. To have at least a little creative output and write down words for my jumbled thoughts. Finally, to reactivate this page as a place I can share what I am learning through my reading...maybe just for Kelly and I this time, or maybe for others who may see that RSS feed turn back to bold...maybe this is the only post for the next year... hopefully not.
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