A Digital Fast

We don’t really fast in America.

I’m not sure why, exactly. In church we hear over and over the importance of regular Bible reading and prayer. They’re practically a given. I’ve had fellow Christians ask me how my walk with God has been going, and often they’ll follow-up by asking if I’ve been reading my Bible. I’ve never had a friend ask me if I’d been fasting lately. Fasting is considered something extra, something extreme. After all a man’s got to eat. It wouldn’t be healthy to fast for too long. I don’t know a single person who has really fasted for no purpose other than to get closer to God. My little brother participated in “30 Hour Famine” several times, but that’s hardly the same thing. For those of you who have never heard of it “30 Hour Famine” it’s a fundraising and public awareness event run by World Vision aimed at Church youth groups. Participants raise money to for famine relief, and then fast for thirty hours. They usually have a party at their church during the 30 hours and play games and learn about global famine. It’s a really great program, but it’s not really what I mean by fasting. It falls under the same category as running a marathon to raise money for cancer research; it’s a fantastic thing to do, but it’s not the same as running a marathon in order to become stronger. I’m talking about fasting purely to better yourself and come closer to God.

Why don’t we American’s fast? No, I should stop there. It’s too big of a question. Here’s a better one: why don’t I fast? Why haven’t I given it a shot? It’s easy for me to say that I had no role model to follow. I could be justified in that; my parents don’t fast, my pastor doesn’t fast, and the elders at our church (as far as I know) don’t fast. But that’s just bouncing around the point. I’ve read my Bible. Paul fasted. Peter fasted. Jesus himself fasted for forty days! I have role models galore there. So why don’t I fast?

I’m not sure. One factor may be the fact that I love food too much. I mean I looooooove food. I count down the hours to every meal. If I hadn’t been blessed with a good metabolism I’d probably weigh three hundred pounds right now. I can’t think of a single day that I’ve ever gone without food. Not one. So I’ve got a streak going. Stick to what you know, right?

I don’t even know where to start.

Recently I’ve been struck by how much of my time is spent on the internet. Watching videos, playing flash games, reading blogs, browsing through webcomics…I spend a lot of time glued to the world wide web. I don’t know if thats bad, per se, but it’s not exactly good either. Kind of like food. I spend a lot of time eating food, and I need food to live; but do I need so much food? I use the internet for really usefull things, like this blog or my email account which lets me keep in contact with my teachers, friends, family, etc. But do I really need so much internet? So I’m going on a fast. This week I will not use the internet for anything other than my blog and checking my email. No funny videos on Youtube, no reading my favorite webcomics, no flash games. I’m giving them up for one week. It’s a digital fast, and I think I’ll be better off for doing it.

Who knows? Maybe it will lead to an actual fast someday. I just wish the food at my college wasn’t so gosh darn appetizing…

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About Mark Hamilton

I am, in no particular order, a nerd, an aspiring writer, a Christian, an aspiring filmmaker, an avid reader, a male, a YEC, a GM, and a twenty something. I like learning how things are made, finding out how to do things from scratch, and I you can find more of my writing at thepagenebula.wordpress.com

Posted on October 1, 2012, in Christianity. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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