Every Friday during our Experiential fast we are encouraged to journal about our experience. What has this fast been like? How have you experienced God during this fast? Has anything surprised you? Each week we will share reflections from people in our community across all 3 locations. This week is from a friend at the Quincy location.
Last week’s fast from television, movies and video games set me up well because I felt as though I had been through a bit of a detox. How hard could the internet be? After all, I am a Gen Xer who only has Facebook and Linked In and remembers what it was like before remote controls when we kids were the ones to turn the dial and change the channel for our parents. This week I spent a great deal of time thinking about the internet and what it has become in my life. Probably more time than I typically spend using the internet in a normal week. The big question I pondered was, is it too late to turn back?
Before entering the fast I decided to prepare myself and allow some exceptions. Like how a person with diabetes or other chronic illness might have exceptions when fasting from food. Preparation involved ensuring that all my bills were paid, my banks accounts were in the positive range, ensuring that my library books would not be overdue and that no online buying would be necessary. Regarding exceptions, first, I allowed myself to continue with my morning practice of reading my devotions via the YouVersion app. This year I’m enjoying a through the Bible in one year reading plan and I did not want to upset my rhythm for fear I would not go back to it after the fast. Secondly, checking notifications from Facebook was allowed to keep informed about my daughter’s activities. Lastly, my job requires that I use the internet, so I was relieved when Jeff, said that internet for work purposes was absolved and the fast is from personal use stuff. Of course, it would have been amazing to take a week off on a deserted Island but I’m sure that the booking or checking in for the flight would have required internet access.
Through the week there were some things I missed and did not miss about the internet. Healthy detox for me was not scrolling through Facebook mindlessly forgetting the reason why I opened the app in the first place. Taking a break from checking my library account three to four times a day was probably a good thing too. Many times, I wanted to google something to learn more about something I read or overheard. Also, I missed listening to podcasts, music via Pandora and a faith-based radio station in Barbados. However, making quiet space brought many old hymns and choruses to my memory. The Holy Spirit was my DJ.
At the end of the week I concluded that it is too late to turn back. The internet is necessary to a point. The MBTA app can save me from freezing in the predawn hours waiting for a bus. Yet, I will not allow a fridge to determine when I need to order milk. The internet is a great tool for me use but must never become a tool that uses me. – Lisa Reid