For the past ten days, I have been fasting social media. Yes, I have reached a point where refraining from checking in on FourSquare, tweeting my latest blog post, chatting with friends all over the world via Skype and, of course, knowing exactly what my friends are up to on Facebook, has become a major sacrifice. Pathetic, you say? Oh, come on, don’t judge.
Inspired by C3 San Francisco’s recent call to fast for ten days for spiritual growth, I decided to fast Facebook and other addictive social media sites. (Ironically, our pastor was sharing encouraging prayers and scriptures via Twitter and Facebook. Ha!) As you may know, pregnant women must not fast so I had to find a substitute that would equally ‘hurt’.
Well, let’s clarify: The intention of a spiritual fast done right is not to suffer or torture yourself. Spiritual fasting is not an obligation or religious ritual, to me it is like taking a break from the mundane and or from things we indulge in or take for granted too easily – whether that’s food, coffee, TV or candy. Spiritual fasting only makes sense if you fill that void (of whatever you’re fasting) with something meaningful. Like prayer. Or reading the word.
Instead of reading Facebook updates in the morning, I opened up my bible and read updates from God instead. (His wall posts are definitely more relevant and inspiring than anything you can find on Facebook.) Instead of chatting with family, I chatted with God. Instead of checking into venues on FourSquare, I checked into His presence.
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27