The lovely Amazon box waited for me, I ripped it open with great excitement and pulled out my own copy of 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. (Cheaper at www.cbd.com) What I didn’t expect was how much this book would push me to think…and…change…
Very enthusiastically I explained the premise of the book to Jon. I was ready to read it, not jump into the craziness. Jon’s first response, “Let’s do it”, annoyed me.
”Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe "seven sacred pauses." So, what’s the payoff from living a deeply reduced life? It’s the discovery of a greatly increased God—a call toward Christ-like simplicity and generosity that transcends social experiment to become a radically better existence.” –excerpt from CBD
Read along as Jen journals this journey, from how God has brought her family from pastoring a “successful” mega-church, living the American dream and enjoying everything this life has to offer to literally giving her shoes off her feet (multiple times, I might add). As I read Jen’s accounts of living one month on seven foods (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?) to the next month eating what she pleased but limiting herself to wearing 7 items of clothing, including shoes (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?), it became desirable. Not the part about self-denial, but…it was the part about self-denial and how God can work mightily through it, when we slow down, simplify and just take the time to hear Him. How often do I fast or practice some form of self-denial? Very little. Is it something the Lord has been convicting me for some time about? YES.
What I am taking forever to say is, by the grace of God, we are embarking on this journey. I know this is sticky because broadcasting a fast seems proud. Be assured, I don’t tell you so you can admire my self-discipline (seriously a very weak area in my life) but to see if you want to join.
One of the strongest things that stood out to me in the book was Jen’s “Council”, basically a group of friends all doing this together (to varying degrees and in a myriad of ways, not everyone’s journey was the same) who supported each other, talked about the hard things and just kept each other sane and laughing along the way . Are you intrigued in doing this together? This will not be a time commitment as we will keep up over e-mail.
We are starting Month #1 on May 1st. If you are interested, that gives you a bit over a month to find the book (hilarious, quick read), read through it and prayerfully decide if it is an experiment on which you want to embark.
If you are interested in possibly participating, leave a comment on this post. One winner will be announced March 30th and will receive their own copy of “7” with no obligation or pressure to participate.
May God use this for His glory and praise.