Navigating Anxiety and Faith
So I just finished by first fiction book since becoming a Christian. I used to read fiction all the time when I was a kid but ever since I heard about Jesus and who He really is, I’ve been too thirsty for knowledge to read anything but nonfiction. It’s strange, really, how knowledge became such an idol in my life that I would not allow time for leisure. Reading fiction again has taught me that I can relax once in a while and not spend every waking minute using all my brain power to try to understand God. (That’s an exaggeration but it’s not far from the truth.)
Since starting to read fiction again, I’ve seen my level of stress decrease and I am experiencing the freedom of letting go and trusting God. Of course, there is a balance, though. I have crossed the line of becoming addicted to a book before – as in not being able to put it down – and it has happened repeatedly with this latest book I’ve been reading. I can’t say I am any stronger than I was before but I can say that when I do start seeing the addiction take hold, I turn to God and ask Him to please make me excited to read His word; to please make me want to hear from Him more than from Suzanne Collins; to please make me love the Bread of Life more than the boy with the bread. And in that asking, I have seen great things happen as my heart has actually turned away from that which threatens to captivate me forever.
So yeah, reading fiction has been a good experience overall, as long as I do so in moderation.
If you haven’t read The Hunger Games, you should do so. It’s not only reduced my stress, it’s made me look at American society in a whole different way. Leave it to me to turn fiction into nonfiction :)