I have given up a few minor addictions in my lifetime: caffeine and Tetris being probably the most onerous. With caffeine the worst part is physical, a headache that lasts for a week and a weird fatigue that makes you wonder if you've contracted some horrible sickness. With Tetris it's just a matter of waiting until you no longer see the little colored blocks falling when you close your eyes.
But giving up Facebook, which I consider another of my minor addictions, has left me with a new sensation. Extra Time. This afternoon I got all the laundry folded and then did the dishes, had a good conversation with a friend on the phone, made dinner for the kids, attended a budget meeting and still had time left over to wonder what to do with myself next. I'm not used to having that kind of extra time. And even though most people say they just wish they had more time in the day, I wonder if we're really all that comfortable with having enough time to do what we need to do.
Because when every waking moment is not filled with tasks, we're just left with ourselves and our thoughts. Time to crank up the radio or find a volunteer opportunity. It's much easier to plow through a bunch of activities than it is to hang out with our own unique, fearful, wonderful, quirky, insecure, overwhelmed selves. And we've got to keep the loud music and the wild schedule going or something worse might happen: God might have something to say to us as well.
Personally, I do think I try to drown out my own thoughts and the voice of God with silly activities. I'm not proud of it but it's the truth. Because if God actually gets a word in through all the noise in my head, it might be a call to some place I do not want to go, or a command to forgive someone I enjoy hating, or a nudge to look in the mirror and recognize that a bad situation just might be my own fault. Better to keep the static going so when Jesus asks, "Can you hear me now?" I can answer, "you're breaking up...what was that? Hang on, I'll have to call you back later...."