Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Fast thinking

There is another thing you should know about me - I can procrastinate like there is no tomorrow. If I don't want to do something, I can find an excuse to not do it. That excuse can be very good, or a little more tedious.

Why do I tell you this? Well one of my biggest distractions is social media. It is all too easy to keep checking it, and adding to it. Waiting for new items to be posted, waiting to get stuck into debates. When really I should be doing something much more important.

So last weekend I did something different.

In my Christian upbringing, fasting has not been a common thing. My youth group took part in a couple of 24 hour famines for charity. But that is the closest I got. We filled our time with fun and fellowship, and not very much sleep I seem to remember.

The point of fasting, is to give something up to concentrate on something else, something better. Now admittedly I chose a good weekend to do it, because I was away with a Duke of Edinburgh's Award group in the Peak District. However, I decided that I needed to spend some time thinking. So I gave up social media for the weekend. Twitter and Facebook were off limits until Monday morning.

Now, it was an easy weekend because I was so busy anyway, that there wouldn't have been much time for social media. But it was a good experience. It got me thinking. Which is what it was meant to do, so I guess it was a success.

But it has given me the taste for it now. Thinking about what I don't need to clutter my life with. To give me enough space to live the life I should be living. The weekend gave me space to think about what was important, and what was just there to keep me from the important things.

Yes, when Monday morning came around I was catching up on Facebook and Twitter happenings. But I survived a weekend without them. I managed to do what I needed to do, without the distraction. Fasting isn't just about not eating, and using that time for something else. Fasting is about giving something up that you don't need, and using time more effectively.

I saw social media as something I didn't need, and I used the time I would have spent on it, thinking and praying. What other things can we live without? How much better and clearer would our lives be if we used that time for God's will to be done, or to just spend that time with God, and people who mean so much to us.

In today's world it is too easy to get distracted. What can you give up, to increase your focus on living God's life?

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