i, honestly, don't know very much about fasting.
prior to moving to charleston, i really hadn't heard anything about it.
but when i started going to seacoast, they were finishing up a 21 day fast and it seems like since ive been here, i can't stop hearing about it!
in fact, my BFF brookeulus was praying about fasting about a week ago. i led her to Seacoast's page about fasting since she had inquired about it, but i didn't really give any thought to doing it myself.
now, if i'm being honest, when i saw the note paper that said "Fasting" on it, i thought to myself, "oh no! they're gonna try to get me to not eat" and i kind of wrote it off. but as soon as i had that thought, i felt God calling me to be open-minded. maybe it wasn't food that He needs me to fast. and as soon as the challenge was presented (pray about something to give up for one week), one thing popped into my head: facebook.
i live a mile from work and it takes me less than 5 minutes to get to and from work, so for the most part, i have a good like 50 minutes at home. and if i'm being honest, about 40 minutes are spent mindlessly on facebook. the past couple days, i've been limiting my lunch hour facebook time to 20 minutes, because i feel like the other 30 minutes should be spent being productive in some other area, and i've been very intentional about making that 30 minutes be time spent with God, either reading my devotional, the Bible, or praying.
but back to tonight's sermon.
Ernest started off describing what fasting is not: a hunger strike, a diet, or a command (or is it). he went further to say that fasting is a discipline that has really disappeared from today's culture (which it has). but what fasting IS is a time to seek God more. and that's what struck me.
it's not necessarily about not eating (or in my case, about not facebook-ing), it's a time to ask for God's wisdom, guidance, and to seek His will for us. it's important to make it about HIM, rather than focusing on ourselves.
Jesus calls us to fast; He preached about it in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:16-18). He makes it clear that it's not about us. it's about Him!
"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Matthew 6:16-18)
my choice to do this isn't because i want to "be spiritual".
my choice to do this is because i want to seek God more.
(my choice to share this decision isn't because i want to be recognized, but rather so friends don't think i've fallen off the face of the planet)
i think the biggest point that Ernest made was that fasting brings freedom.
last week, the sermon was about prayer and he made the statement that "Prayer is about connecting with God; fasting is about disconnecting from the world."
and i desperately need to do that. not because i don't want to connect with my friends or talk to people, but because if i'm being honest, facebook consumes me.
it's what i do before i run in the morning; it's what eats up my lunch hour; it's what i do between getting home from work and going to bed. investing 30 minutes of my day connecting with God isn't worth much compared to the hours of time i'm on facebook.
so for the next week, i'm fasting facebook.
if you need to connect with me, you can do so here.
my e-mail is on my facebook page.
and if you're cool enough, you have my number to text me.
i'll probably also "tweet" some just to keep everyone in the loop about my mom.
((MOM UPDATE: From what I've heard she's doing okay. If you don't know, she has been in the hospital with pneumonia and they had to move her to ICU this morning. She's on a ventilator and I was told she will be on it for at least 3 days, but she should pull through. I've been saying Romans 8:28 and really focusing on the power of prayer. I know a lot of my friends and family are praying for her and the power of prayer is intense. So thanks to everyone who has prayed! :) But that's what I know now...))
so farewell to facebook for a week.
i may not be able to connect to my friends as conveniently as i like.
but i know that God is going to meet me where i am and draw me closer to Him.