Sunday, March 11, 2012
I attend an Alliance church and it observes three days of prayer and fasting every Spring and Fall. Until I started attending this church, I had never heard of a church participating in such a thing.
The Bible offers plenty of examples of fasting and prayer (see Isaiah 58:6-10, , Daniel 9:3, Matt 6:16).
Our church described it as a way of turning your eyes from things of this world, to better allow yourself to focus on God and what he has to say to you.
In the fall I chose to participate and wanted to beat my previous year's fast of 30 hours. I love food. I started this blog off totally devoted to food! I spend a lot of time thinking about and preparing food.
I made it 32 hours.
Fasting from food when you have to prepare meals for small children is pure torture. But it was a revealing 32 hours. At that time I was praying for direction regarding the whole back-to-work-thing. I started out by writing out the question to God on paper. I wrote five pages in response (the answer boiled down to a resounding: not right now).
This time our pastor gave a sermon called, "Are you going to(o) fast?". He was asking us if we were going to participate, or if perhaps we have gotten too busy in our lives. He had us write out on a paper plate everything we have on our plate. Everything we spend time on.
We are only 1 week back from a week long vacation and I had already been complaining that I didn't have enough time. When I looked at my plate, some of the biggest time-sucks on it were the t.v., the computer and my beloved iphone. I already knew I was spending too much time on these things, and had been trying rather unsuccessfully to cut back. We all know we have become a technology-addicted society, and I'm no exception. I felt a genuine prompting to fast from these things this go around, instead of food.
SO that's what I've been doing for the last week. I went Monday-Friday with no t.v., computer or phone.
It was harder than I thought. It's unbelievable what a habit these things become. My phone had become like an itch. It was the small things like wanting to look up an address, or phone number or weather report that were the hardest. I found myself eating more food without these other distractions! Definitely not your usual fast!
Anyhow, I discovered that I not only had more time to read, meditate and pray, I also felt less busy, more relaxed and even remembered things better (probably because I wasn't cramming Pinterest images into my head)!
I'm grateful to have these pleasures back. But I've decided to stay on a "restricted diet" with these things for awhile because I believe God is telling me to slow down. The more busy I get, the more wrapped up in my thoughts and in material things I get. Spending less time using these technologies, I have more time to take my thoughts captive and just BE.
Give it a try!