Yesterday, I fasted from the Internet. No e-mail, no blogs, no Twitter, no Facebook, no Internet browsing of any sort. I did it because of a Bible study I’m involved in. Last week in our homework there was a day about fasting and it was suggested that we fast on that day. But since I’m the Queen of Procrastination and didn’t even sit down with my Bible and study book until the night before our study meeting time (DeeAnna, feel free to “out” me next week!), I didn’t exactly have time to do any fasting. Anyway, as I read over that day’s study, I noticed that the author said that we could decide to fast from anything, not just food. After our discussion group the next morning, I decided that I would fast sometime this week. And, being all cheeky and thinking I was hitting on something, I decided to fast from the Internet because I know that I can allow it to take up too much of my time on a daily basis. I turned off my computer around 10:30pm Wednesday night and I did not get back on again until this morning.
Here’s the thing. It wasn’t terribly hard to abstain from the Internet. And I don’t say that in some sanctimonious, I don’t need the Internet to survive, you peons out there in front of the computer all day just have it all wrong, kind of way. No, the thing is, it occurred to me around early afternoon that whenever I felt the “urge” to go to the computer I just distracted myself in some other way. Sure, I got a lot more done yesterday than I usually do, but it’s not like I was any more focused on God and my walk with Him just because I didn’t get on the computer. Whereas, from what I’ve heard (since it’s been a really long time since I actually did it) about fasting from food, when one feels a hunger pang or finds themselves reaching for food during their fast, they are reminded about what they are doing that day in a very physical sense and can take that reminder as an opportunity to pray or meditate on their reasons for fasting. I didn’t get that from avoiding my computer.
What I find to be so incredibly cool about what I experienced yesterday is that God still used it to teach me a truth about His ways. I really don’t think that when Christians fast, we can just say, I won’t watch television today or I won’t exercise today or I won’t have sex today. I really believe it needs to be a fast from food, if we expect to have true spiritual communion with God. Food is important to our bodies. The Internet isn’t. When food is withheld it creates a tangible, physical sensation. Not using the computer had no physical effects (at least a day of fasting from it didn’t – a long term “fast” may prove helpful to my derrière!) Food and our relationship with it goes back to the beginning of time. The Internet has been around for a mere blink in the grand scheme of things. I believe that God, in His infinite wisdom, knew that only a fast from food would yield the best results.
With this new revelation in mind, I’ll definitely be seeking out a fasting from food opportunity very soon. Of course, I won’t be telling you when I’m doing it because the whole point of our lesson (that I missed) is that it’s to be done in secret. But that’s a whole other blog post.